Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

We're goin' back to China

Introducing our newest family member...

William Asher Wen Jun

 Little Wen Jun will turn six on November 1st of this year. He has lived in an orphanage in Jiangsu, China since he was a few days old.
We received the official document from China today that states we are approved to adopt him.
We are rejoicing that there is one less orphan in the world today.
"Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."
Proverbs 25:25

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Forever Family - 2 years later

We have a lot of catching up to do. Two years with Ivy is a special place to be. We are so proud of this girl. I really do love adoption, more all the time. Watching God transform a family through this process has been one of my greatest joys in this life.  I recall the pain of natural childbirth and the joy that followed. Adoption is no different. The pain is real. The joy takes longer to show up in some cases. I never want to minimize the hard part about adoption, especially older child adoption. It's just plain difficult on everyone involved. So for the people who said, "This is going to be hard". I say, "We expected hard. Some things were much easier than we anticipated, and some things were much harder."
Ivy has grown physically at least three years of typical growth in two years. She still finds great joy in each and every meal and snack! Imagine living the first five years of life without a full tummy, or the experience of asking mom for 'seconds'. She's still making up for those early years. Food is a real big deal to her. So she fits in well here with this group!

Emotionally, she has matured at least four years in two years time. This part is impossible to put into words. Ivy was like a two year old in many ways when we brought her home at just under five years. She was grabbing kitchen knives and was basically out of control and doing all the things toddlers do. Tantrums and meltdowns were daily or hourly occurrences. Imagine never having a 'voice'. If you cry, no one comes. So while our patience was tested, we still embraced the screams as a good sign - a sign that she realized for the first time someone was listening, and her voice mattered. Through lots of prayer and begging God for wisdom, we have found ways to validate her 'voice' and still maintain some peace in our home! God is so faithful to lead us in this journey.
Academically, Ivy is remarkable. She is reading and doing first grade work. Her favorite things to do are to listen to "Little House on the Prairie" books on CD, read books with mom and sisters, and do crafts of most any kind. Swimming would also be high on the list. Her vocabulary seems to have surpassed the average American child at this age. It really is remarkable. So to the people who said, "How will you teach her the language?" I say, "I really don't know how it happened, but it was much easier and faster than we ever dreamed it could be."
I must also mention how proud I am of the growth in our other children. The reality is they have had to make many sacrifices and changes. Watching God transform their hearts is an unexpected joy. I am so proud of them for hanging in there and allowing God to grow them. So for those who said, "This will be hard on your other children", I say, "True, hard it is. But I want my children to be challenged by the fire of adversity and to see their need to be dependent on their Savior. I want them to learn to love what God loves rather than have satisfaction in the world's things."
And for those who said, "Why would you want to do this at your age?" We say, "When God calls we must respond. This is His work. He knows what is best for us. Yes, we sometimes dream of quiet days and nights and cruising in a convertible. But the fact is, there is no where else we would rather be.

So Ivy Ruth...She's full of life, full of joy, spunk, creativity, hilarious comments, and huge emotion. She is brave and never quits at anything. She is strong-willed, never at a loss for words, and always the first to love and forgive.

So for the many people who have said, "She's so lucky!" We say,
"Trust me, We are the blessed ones."
Thank you, God, for the transforming work you have done in ALL of our lives the last two years.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

When colors fade

I  love how Macy caught these sweeties on the camera.  When we brought Ivy home, one concern we had was how she would treat her younger nieces who are close to her own age. We obviously didn't know what training and experiences she had in the orphanage. It has been a joy to see how Ivy has loved and adored the little ones from the beginning. She intuitively knew how to be gentle and sweet with them, and she lights up when they are around.

These two were born an ocean apart.

 One with Ebony eyes...The other Icy-blue

One spirited and sprightly.
One calm and calculated

So different.
So much the same.

Both love a pretty dress.
Both love to sing a song of praise.
Both love bubbles and play dough.
Both love to laugh and cuddle.

Our creative God lovingly planned for them to be in the same family.
Woven miraculously together by His great providence.

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.
John 1:16

Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Additions

Meet our two newest family members

These cute characters have added a whole new meaning to the "dog days of summer."

Ni Hao Yall

Monday, July 29, 2013

A boy!

We haven't had a new boy in the family for 25 years. 
This Grammie is smitten with the "little big guy" as we call him. 
The rest of the family is madly in love too.

This was read 25 years ago at our son's dedication:

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. 
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”
-General Douglas MacArthur

We pray for Gods grace to bless us with another warrior for Him.

Ni Hao Yall

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Sad Day

Today was a very sad day as our sweet Golden Retriever died suddenly last night. There weren't any smiles around here, except when Macy took Emma out to snap some 4th of July photos for her photography class.

We Miss You Penny.

Happy Independence Day.

Monday, June 10, 2013

One Year Home Video

Hope you enjoy watching our 'One Year Home' video posted below. Be sure to turn up the volume.
Heres another link to the video if you have trouble viewing it: One Year Video

We are often asked questions related to adoption, so we are hoping to start a series soon where we will attempt to answer your questions. You may leave questions in the comment section or email me privately at

Ni Hao Yall