Sunday, April 20, 2014

15 years ago...

15 years ago I sat in fear,
as my niece was in danger at Columbine High School.

Being 900 miles a way,
there was nothing I could do but watch the news reports and look
for my Julie to come out of those school doors.

I can't tell you the relief when I heard that she was safe.
Yet, the immense sadness for those families who lost their children,
and for the entire community who would suffer from this day
for the rest of their earthy lives.

Today is a beautiful Easter day,
as we celebrate our Lord and Savior having risen from the dead. 
He died for my sins,
for our sins 
and conquered death -
so that we too may have new life in HIM.

I think of these kids who lost their lives 15 years ago.
For the kids who were singled out because of their faith in God. 
But today,
are celebrating with HIM. 
I think of the attackers -
how they hurt,
how they ached to know that someone loved them 
for who they were.

I pray today that we don't get wrapped up in our spring outfits 
and the decorated Easter eggs -
but we reach out to someone who is hurting 
and truly share the love of Christ with them. 

Today, I would love to be in Colorado with my niece 
as she was asked to sing at her church.
Thank you Julie for saying yes to sing God's praises
even with these horrific memories. 
I love you girl and am thankful that God 
has given you this beautiful talent of voice. 
Sing for Nichole,
sing for Jesus!! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boys and Bluebonnets

I am so excited to have been able to get these photos of 
my little boys!!! 



am I!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Broken pieces...

Today in school we decided to talk about our brokenness,
and decided to use crayons as our example.

We used the broken, worn out, unwanted and ugly crayons 
and made them even more broken and worthless.

Griggs was really unhappy to use the broken crayons 
as he tried to draw his picture...

But through the warmth of the oven,
we pulled out fun, new crayons -
and through the warmth of God's love HE makes us new creations.

Though they are different shapes,
 different colors,

 they are beautiful and fun to color and play with! 

And now that they have a different look 
and shape -
they are beautiful again! 
(I love object lessons!) 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Why is your hair wet?

I shared this conversation with Elijah on Facebook 
the other day - 
but thought I would share here too -
as the conversation meant more to me than 
just the funny comment. 

At bedtime,
Elijah usually gets ready for story time before anyone else -
and this night was no different,
when I went to give him a cuddle I noticed his hair was wet.

So, I had to ask...

"Elijah, why is your hair wet?"

with his frightened stuttering he answered,

"I need water, I want to grow."

I just had to laugh!

and cry a little too...

you see a few short months ago,
if Elijah had been asked the same question
and feared that he would be in trouble - 
I would have never gotten this honest yet funny answer...
He would have run off screaming and having an emotional episode.
Fear that he got caught,
fear that he is in trouble,
fear of what the consequences might be.
Running and fighting is much easier then
answering for our poor choices.

I'll tell you, last night, he was surprised to get a giggle from mom,
and another cuddle from me as well.
But, sometimes you just have to giggle.

We are so proud of the effort Elijah is putting into trying to trust us
on a daily basis.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sleep Study #4

Can't believe this is Sleep Study #4 for Hagan.

It is 1am and so far so good.
They started him on the CPAP machine 
and the tech told me that he is doing well.
Though about 15 minutes ago he began snoring loudly again - 
usually on CPAP he doesn't snore.
But, they aren't coming rushing in like when he is just on 
his oxygen. 

Hagan has been refusing the CPAP mask lately,
like pulling it off 5-6 times a night 
and in tears over it - 
which leads to a very tired boy during the day. 

As I sit here, I think of his first sleep study.

Such a scared little guy,
home only a few months,
he only knew his momma for a little while,
and went with it but still had that question
"Do I trust her when she says, "no owies"?

he walked down the hallway to our room with all the confidence in the world.
When I reminded him earlier in the day what we would be doing - 
he believed me. 
He knows that I won't lie to him,
or "trick" him. 
When he has an appointment when he does gets poked -
I tell him,
and we have tears - 
but he has also learned that when I say "no owies" -
there really are not going to be any owies!

While are tech hooked Hagan up tonight he was calm and 
enjoyed laughing at Tom and Jerry on the TV. 
When he was all hooked up he laid down -
and fell asleep,
before we even turned the TV off.

(Hagan says he looks like Spider Man in this photo!!
I see the resemblance! - My superhero!!) 

Sweet boy is learning to trust. 
He understands that we love him,
and will take care of him.
The weight of the world is not on his shoulders anymore! 

Some people say that we must be addicted to adopting.
and you know,
in a way we are.
There is nothing better than to see the transformation in our children.
When are children learn to trust,
learn to love,
learn to allow us to take care of them,
it is an amazing transformation to see 
and be blessed to be used from God to be a part of!

Tonight I'm not complaining that we had to do another sleep study...
rather celebrating that with every step we take with Hagan
we have another chance to show him that he can trust us
and that we love him!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Zoo Day!!

Not sure who is in charge...

but I think we are lost!

I just love watching the boys take everything in!

and the best part was the play area!
They let loose!

Hagan. "Yeeehaw!"

Griggs responded, 
"Ni hao!!"

Who would have thought two boys from 2 different continents 
would end up as brothers and best buds on a totally different continent...
only God!

God is sooooo good!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Be still

I have this wonderful plaque, made by a very special friend,
 in my kitchen so that I can see it every day,
ALL day!! 
(I spend a lot of time in my kitchen!)

But what does it mean? 

"Be still"

could mean so many things…

don't move,
take it easy,
don't sweat the small stuff,
chill out,
be quiet and listen to God,

over the last few weeks
there has been a lot going on at our house…

I found myself needing to pray these two words over and over.

These words did not mean -
sit on the couch and just let things happen,
but they meant 
fight for something or someone with all you have -
but know,
know in all certainty that God has got this in HIS hands!
and rest in HIS promise!

God asks us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
and that is what had to happen over the last few weeks.
And though we had to go through a process 
that was emotionally draining,
many tears were shed,

we found peace in 

Psalms 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.

We had to be still and know that
God had a plan,
and HE would bring it all together!! 
In HIS time!
and we are so very thankful that HE chose to use 
us as HIS vessel!

(unfortunately, I am unable to share what God is doing right now 
in our family - but soon!)

Monday, March 31, 2014

another builder in the house

I am amazed everyday to watch Griggsy 
and how he loves building with this game!

A year ago he frustrated his siblings 
as he would try to add a block to their towers 
and knock it down 
every single time.

His fine motor skills have gotten so much stronger
and he loves building.

And his siblings love building with him.

Though it is exhausting and sometimes 
you just have to lay down and take a break! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jesus wept

Recently I was asked what scripture I have in my heart 
to help me through the hard days.

There are many, many incredible promises of God's faithfulness,
and grace,
and love that definitely gets me through the hard times,
and that I rejoice in during good and bad days.

But one verse 
that as a kid I thought was so cool -
cause it was the shortest verse in the Bible 
and I could memorize it...
John 11:35,
Jesus wept.

On days that are harder than we would hope - 
I am comforted in knowing that Jesus himself wept in anguish.
He hurt. 

and it is okay to hurt.

It is okay to not be strong ALL the time.

It is okay when we don't have all of the answers. 

It is okay to love someone so much that you 
weep over them.

Even through the hard times -
HE will pick us up. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throw back Thursday - Jailyn

This was my blog post on March 14, 2007 
Jailyn had only been home for one month.
Wow!!! Has time flown by!!! 

What an incredible month this has been! Jailyn has changed all of our lives in an incredible way! She is such a sweetie! She loves her big brothers and sister. If she wasn't treated like a princess before she sure is now! She has everyone wrapped around her little finger!

When we were united with Jailyn she was very curious about every thing around her. She is still very curious but is now on the go, crawling around exploring things, including the dogs food/water bowls. She loves learning new things! She has learned 8 sign language signs. This helps a lot in communicating with her. 

A month ago Jailyn was only drinking formula and eating rice cereal. Now she is eating everything we put in front of her! She loves jar baby food, and gerber graduate finger foods. She can't get enough ice cream - even though she makes a funny face with every bite! She eats slices of turkey, ham and cheese. We still can't get her to drink juice or luke warm formula (needs to be very hot!) but we will get there!

Brady has taught her to say "uh-oh" when something falls. She is enjoying this game! 
Kenzie and Conner have taught her to say "aye-ya" when she shows us her karate kicks and punches!
 She has the karate instructors laughing! 
And of course Daddy is teaching her the fundamentals of soccer.
Oh, did I tell you that she is still not walking. :) 
Jailyn loves cruising around the furniture and getting around in the walker - 
wont be long and she will be running around the house!

We have scheduled her palate surgery for April 30th. 
She has an appointment the week with the ENT to confirm if she needs tubes in her ears or not. 
If so, they will do that surgery along with her palate.

Sorry I haven't updated the picture... enjoy these new ones! I can't believe how much older she looks already!

Thanks again for all of your prayers!
We are still bonding and things are going well with that - Jailyn hates to go down to bed at night - which breaks my heart -I hate to hear her cry!

Talk to y'all soon!
Jodi Sue :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Innocence lost...

I kinda have a love hate relationship with photos
of waiting children.

I feel the same way about their files.

A picture is worth a million words - 
but who is writing the words?

I love advocating for waiting kiddos around the world - 
but what I ask is that - 
when you see a photo of a child that touches you -
please don't make expectations of 
their personalities,
of how their reactions should be to situations in life.

This photo of our Jorja is so sweet! 

And we see this sweet face often -

But that happy go lucky smile is not all that Jorja is made up of.

She has hurts and pains.

What she learned about herself and others during her first 
5 year of life is unbelievable.
I would never had believed it from this photo.

Donovan has mostly good days but there are times -
when he just shuts down...
Because for his first 6 years - 
no one cared to take the time to listen to him.

I can go on and on.
I don't want this to sound like I'm throwing my kids under the bus,
nor do I want y'all to tell me what a wonderful momma I am 
for taking these wounded children in.
What I am saying is that if you are thinking, praying, in the midst of adopting -
please know that the photo that you spend hours 
a day staring at and dreaming of that child being home with you...
that is not everything that makes up that child.

I know the cutest 3 year old e.v.e.r.
spent his first 2 years living on the streets with his birth mother,
seeing drugs, alcohol, sex,violence and murder...
when adopted and he didn't know how to process 
all that he had seen in his first 2 years,
not to mention the year he spent in the orphanage.
At 5 years old he was acting out 
what he had seen at such an early age.

Looking at his photo -
no one would have guessed that he had some much to process through...
I mean hey,
he's only 3, what could go wrong!

My plea is not that people get scared off from adopting,
but please know what you are getting into.
These children are hurt, and scared -
the scars do not go away quickly,
and some may never go away -

does that mean that they are not worthy of a family?
Absolutely, NOT!!!! 

If we see adoption as God see's adoption -
HE has adopted us sinners as HIS son's and daughter's.
HE did not say,
you have to prove yourself to me first,
you have to know how to simulate into my family.
No, HE loves us 
as raw and sinful creatures that we are 
and HE teaches us,
HE has compassion on us,
 HE disciplines us,
and HE never gives up on us!

Romans 5:6-8
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person,
though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thank you!!

Thank you Lord!!

Thank you for bringing this beautiful girl home to me!

Thank you for allowing me to be her momma!

Thank you for making one strong and sassy peanut!
(blurry photo but look at that smile!)

Thank you for showing me how to find the joy in every moment in life!

Embracing her accomplishments and encouraging others at that same time!

Thank you for changing my life in so many ways by this one little girl!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Why are you doing this?

Since we love y'all and 
are totally open with y'all about our family
 I thought I would share with y'all
why we decided to start a new adventure
 like Plexus… 
I knew you were wondering! 

A few months after Hagan and Griggs came home,
I began praying for some type of a part time job.
(you know, a part time job either from home - 
or on my "off" hours - between midnight and 4am!)
I was feeling guilty that we had so many kiddo's
and were financially tight in so many areas -
and I couldn't give my kids even simple luxuries…
like going out to eat once in a while,
or taking them to see the newest movie in the theaters. 
The kids have always been so good about 
wanting to sacrifice so that we can have a big family - 
but you know, I still felt guilty. 
Like any other mom - 
I want to spoil my kids 
at least once in a while. 

When I first tried Plexus I was so impressed with the natural product,
I just had to share it with others. 
And I asked God if this was the part-time job that I had asked for.
I really had no idea about how the whole business worked.

I soon learned and have been completely impressed even more 
with this company. 
It is the REAL deal! 

God has blessed this part time job more than we ever thought possible! 

We are incredibly excited to see that God is using this part time business
to bring home our sweet Maklayne!! 
When we committed to the adoption of Maklayne,
we had no idea how God was going to bring her home,
but we knew that HE would.

And HE is.

We share this information because we want y'all to know 
how God can use our simple prayers for a 4 hour a day job,
 to allow us the financial resources to actually do sooo much more than 
we ever expected! 

We are incredibly thankful for this amazing opportunity to not only share
with y'all about Plexus, our amazing health supplements 
and the difference they have made in our health,
but also stand in awe as HE builds our team and provides for 
so much more than we ever dreamed.

We have two team members who are in China right now,
preparing to meet their newest children,
and numerous others in the process of adoption.
We have many who are planning mission trips that they
have always wanted to go on,
and many giving to their community that they only dreamed of before.
Beyond paying their car payments, and mortgages…
God is blessing them and they are using these
additional finances for HIS glory!

and we praise HIM for this!! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Momma's sorry

As I apologized to my kiddos the other evening,
I had had a bad attitude…
things they were doing were driving me nuts.

I had to explain to them my frustrations.

I'm really not frustrated with them!
I'm frustrated with the people who were entrusted with 
my babies before I was able to get them home.
The people who made my kids so very fearful,
and who unknowingly taught them in order to survive
you have to think of yourself first 
and not care about the other person.
The people who, unknowingly, taught them to fear authority.
Who told them that they are worthless.

Donovan chimed in,
"you mean the people who would hit me with a hose?…
that hurts."

"Yes, baby!!!" as tears streamed down my face.
"Those people."

And Jorja,
"The people who locked me in that room."

"Yes, baby!!"  
"Those people."
ohhhh lands more tears.

I can't tell you why y'all had to go through that,
I pray that it will make y'all stronger adults and
that you will know how to treat and how not to treat people.

"That makes sense Mommy.  
You got to us as fast as you could.
My nannies, treated me good…
but they didn't know how to feed me,
Momma, you had special bottles for me
and helped me get healthy and strong."

Hagan joined in,
"you no call me names."

Ohhhh break my heart!!!

Yesterday I saw photos of a baby who had just had a shunt put in 
for his Hydrocephalus. 
I broke down again.
My baby girl, Maklayne, had to go through that surgery all alone.
Every day we are apart from her the ache grows more and more to get her home.

Ohhhhh how I love my sweet girl 
a world away - 
but already 
my daughter. 


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