Thursday, October 1, 2015

Turning 10 with lots of questions!

I can't believe my baby girl is double digits!

Where has the time gone?

Jailyn is an old soul,
she loves people and Jesus!

This birthday has been a hard one.

Lots of questions about her birth 
and her birth family 
that we will never be able to answer for her.

Giving her this time to grieve the fact that we know nothing 
about per very beginnings is very important.

I share this because many people think that if 
kids are adopted,
especially at a young age,
that they wont have any "issues".
The truth is, at least in our house,
the younger kids have more questions 
and grieve as they get older and try to "find" themselves.

Some questions that have recently come up...

"Who do I take after?"

"Was I born early in the morning?"

"Do you think my mom was nice?"

"Do you think my mom was allergic to strawberries too?"

I'm so thankful that Jai can ask these questions -
but it hurst deeply that I can't give her answers.

She knows that I can't answer these questions,
but when she cries herself to sleep because of the unknown of her past -
it breaks my heart too.

She knows in who hold her future - 
but sometimes we just have to let our kids 
grieve their past,
 so that they can embrace their present and future!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

That leap 2 years ago!

2 years ago I took a leap a faith,
and little did I know what God was going to do
with my little step of obedience!

You see, 7 months prior Bryan and I were preparing to 
leave China with our two amazing boys! 

We were amazed how hard it was to leave China this time.
God was pulling on our hearts
before we even left.
God was telling us that our daughter was 
still in China!



and even more importantly 

We had to wait 6 months before we could start paperwork again
so we used this time to pray and pray and search for our daughter.

While searching we were also praying about 
my energy level, 
(seeing that I was exhausted before 
the little kids went to bed,
and often times falling asleep before they did!)
my health,
(Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia,
Anemia, insomnia...)
my patience, 
(tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of the day that began a downward spiral 
for my Elijah!
I needed patience!!)

ohhhh my 
to juggle 9 kids -
and the possibility of 10, 
maybe 11 kids!

And praying for our financial situation!
Hubby is a hard worker,
and has a great job -
but it takes a lot to raise a large family!

I was tired of telling my kids that they couldn't see the newest movie,
"Wait for it to come out in DVD."
got harder and harder to tell them.
Making them choose only one friends birthday party to go to 
through out the year, 
because I couldn't afford more birthday presents for friends.

The stress of having to tell my kids "no" 
because of finances was sooooo hard!! 
Kiddos just don't understand that - 
all they hear is "no".

I prayed for a part time job!
I was kinda picky -
because I couldn't really do anything,
I have no office skills 
I still wanted to be there for my kids,
I didn't want to put Hagan and Griggs in a day care -
plus that would just be another bill to pay!
I couldn't work after school,
who would be the taxi?
That left me from midnight to 4am to work.
Stocking shelves at the local grocery store doesn't really work -
as my RA would be miserable,
though I was awake at that time with insomnia!
But, I'm also not doing "sales" and home shows of 
... whatever!!!
I didn't have time for that either!
And wasn't going to ask my friends to buy something that 
they didn't need! 
Plus, there wasn't anything out there that I loved 
enough to share with people.

Then God asked me to take a leap of faith...
something I totally didn't want to do!

Of course, I went kicking and screaming -
but this idea wasn't going to fail because of me,
I was going to show God that I shouldn't have done this!
Seriously, when will I learn?

I joined my friend Rebecca's team with Plexus Worldwide!

I set out to prove 3 weeks before today two years ago that some
"scam" health products didn't work -
which I had been totally proven wrong...
and now 3 weeks later HE is asking me to 
share these health products with others.
Ohhh boy!!!

I did what my leaders told me to do,
and took this seriously! 
I prayed for a part time job,
and if this was HIS answer -then I would work it like 
a full time job!

I wondered why God would chose this way to answer my prayers -
can't he just send a big donor 
to help us with the adoption that HE is calling us too!
That'd be so much easier,
and I would be able to sit on the couch with my sore, exhausted body!

But, HE wanted me to heal, grow
and share!!
Now I can't believe what HE has done with this SAHMomma,
and her little business to help other friends
pay bills, quit their jobs,
couples working together to get out of corporate America
so that they can obey God and go into ministry 
and not worry about the all mighty paycheck!

I am so grateful that God asked me to lead this amazing team of mine.
HE has placed Plexus products in my life 
my amazing team who encourages me every day!

2 years ago I had no idea what 
would turn into!

Now, I have my health
and my baby girl home,
and our bonus baby!!! (ha!ha!)

God is so good!! 
We are truly blessed!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

So many questions about our baby girl!

We have so many questions about our baby girl!

Her file from China was incomplete,
and raised many questions!
We knew that she had hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
and had a shunt. 
We knew that she didn't walk until she was 5 yrs old,
nor did she feed herself until then.

When she walked in to the room 
at the orphanage on July 13th,
my heart melted.

And honestly,
I had a feeling of,
"Ohhhh Lord, really - 
I don't think I can do this!
This child was "paperwork" until this moment.
Now she is a real person,
and my responsibility for life!

I kinda wanted to run!
But thankfully God held me
and encouraged me!

She is adorable,
she is precious,
she is happy,
she is a treasure.

But, there is was that feeling in my gut -
that we were in for a long ride!
A long ride of trying to peel the medical layers of our Laynee.

We have seen many doctors,
but still have many more to go.

She had an MRI a few weeks ago,
and unfortunately it took us this long to get 
the report - 
and a referral to a neurosurgeon.

The results from the MRI have been hard to hear,
but they have also given us a starting place.

The news was not positive
and not encouraging.

But one thing I know...
 God is so good!!
Though her life in China would have been incredibly hard,
and hopeless...
She now has many brothers and sisters 
who are the sweetest!
They love to teach her and celebrate her victories with her!

We are blessed beyond earthy understanding to call Laynee "daughter"!
We don't know why God has called us on this journey,
and entrusted Laynee to us,
but are incredibly thankful!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Someone had a birthday!!!

I can hardly believe that this little guy -
who jumped into my lap 
4 years ago...

is now 8 years old!!!

Elijah is a tender hearted boy!!

A tender heart that has been broken and hurt 
time and time again...

but he is learning to allow people in!

And he amazes me!!!

I have a had a hard time with a certain new adult person in his life,

one day, I told Elijah that that person was insane.

Elijah asked,
"what is insane."

I answered,

Elijah answered,
"He's not crazy, 
he's just mad and doesn't know how to 
use his words."

Okay, buddy!!
You are right!!! 
You have a huge heart!! 
and I am so thankful that you call me "mommy"!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't be fooled!!!

ohhhhh these two are sooo cute!!!

But don't be fooled!!!

They like to bug each other!!!! 

While the other kiddos are at school - 
it is really fun to just watch 
and listen to them interact!

Especially, if I leave the room!

They are funny!! 

The other day I heard both of them yelling,
"Stop it Miles!"
"No Miles!"

"Stop it Laynee!"
"Noooooo Laynee!"

Just a few English phrases they know!

I walked over to see what was going on -
they were both in their own areas of the family room,
with their own toys - 
playing nicely -
 Just yelling!!

Ha! Ha!!!! 

They crack me up!!
And keep momma on her toes!!

Only a week late!! Ohhh boy!!!

My Back to school photos are only a week late!
Hey, I think I'm doing pretty good!!
Ha! Ha!
Conner asked me the other day if I was still blogging -
ummmm - 
that's the idea!!! But I haven't been very good! 
I will try to be better!!!

But on to sharing photos of BTS 2015!

 I can't believe how fast our summer went!!

Conner - a Junior in High School!
How did this happen?

So proud of this guy!!

Jorja is excited about her last year in elementary school
as a 5th grader!

Donovan and Jailyn are both in 4th grade!

Same teachers but different rotation!

Jailyn is excited to be involved in everything at school -
Music makers, Art Club, Safety Patrol!
Social butterfly!

Elijah is in 2nd grade!
He is attending a different school than the other kids
and in the special ed class that is perfect for him 
and his needs!

and he gets to ride the bus! 
Lucky guy!

Hagan is ready for 1st grade!
He's ready to take on the world!
Praying for a great, healthy year for my boy!

My Griggsy is killing me!!!

But he is so ready!!!! 

Kenzie even sent me a photo of her first day of school!
Thank you Kenz!!! 
You know how to make your momma feel loved!!

And of course, 
my babies needed photos too!!

Wow!!!! We are blessed!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Life School Musical!

This is the 3rd year we have been a part of a local
musical praise camp!


The kids have a great time learning songs,
dance moves,
and important Bible lessons!

This year Jorja, Donovan, Jailyn and Hagan
took part. 
(Elijah tried but needed to be home with momma 
instead, and that is okay!)

Life School Musical!!!

Great memories, great musical learning,
Bible lessons 
and friendships made - 
the perfect week!! 

My attempt to get a photo of all the kids afterward...

needless to say,
it's going to take some work to get the kids to all be looking at the camera
at the same time!!

And when two doggies come walking by -
mom should just give up!!!

Friday, July 31, 2015

China re-cap:

Since our house and life was incredibly chaotic 
before leaving for China,
and we had to move all of our furniture and "stuff" from the downstairs to 
upstairs for new floors and painting to happen when we were gone
there were a few things we forgot to bring with us
in order to update our blog.


One very important tool was our cord to 
download photos to the computer.
(Not a happy momma!)

now I get to re-live the trip!!

How cool is that!! 
We use this blog as our little family photo album -
so if it's boring to you -
don't worry, I won't be offended! 

July 7th, we took off for an amazing adventure!

Bryan, Kenzie, Conner and I were blessed
to spend a few days together in touring Beijing.

On our first day we went to the Forbidden City,

ride rickshaw's through the
Hutong Neighborhoods

Our driver was crazy!! 
Playing ding-dong ditch through the Hutongs!! 
and mocking Kenzie and my laughs!! 

and visit with a beautiful homeowner -
3 family generations live in this one home.

and the Olympic Park!

We celebrated Kenzie's 19th birthday,
and my ...
ummmmm -
48th birthday!

Our favorite day was visiting The Great Wall!

 Conner and Bryan's feet were too big for them to 
walk normally down the stairs - 
so they improvised!  haha!!!

Kenzie had a friendly butterfly attach to her!
Seriously, it was difficult to get the butterfly to fly away!

It really is amazing!
and beautiful!

And we got to come down the mountain
on an alpine slide!
That's always fun!

On our drive back to Beijing we
had a little company on the road!

What a surprise!

All in all a great few days in Beijing with Kenzie and Conner!
soon it was to part ways and get our new kiddos!!!
(that post coming soon!! )


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