Monday, June 29, 2015

Deep hurts

There are times when we think our kiddos are doing well.

Healing is going well,
transition is going well,
life as our crazy, chaotic family 
is going well.  

Until, there is that one trigger 
that just rocks my child's world!!

Donovan is an amazing kiddo!
He has experienced more than I have,
and has seen more than 
I can ever imagine.

But, he holds our family together!

Until, the trigger - getting his blood drawn.

We are doing neurotransmitter testing on him,
our doctor is hoping that it will show his vitamin deficiencies 
that will help with his dyslexia.
(I'm so amazed at how supplements work and feed the brain!!)

Needless to say,
My boy and I were able to get some bonding time together.
Through fear we can hold each other closer -
and prove that we will get through the hurts together.

After the drama,
the sweet nurses let us sit there on the floor for a while,
just holding each other and crying. 
Donovan hasn't let go like this in a long time.
and I needed a good cry too.

Though I hated to see my son so fearful -
I was so thankful to be there for him.

When we were calm and came out of the room, 
the other kiddos were waiting for us -
everyone came to us for a treat from the nurse,
everyone but Jailyn. 

Jailyn was silent.

I went to her and gave her a hug and she melted.
She was terrified for her brother. 

I just love the bond that my family has!
God has built our family in ways I never thought possible!
To God be the glory!

Friday, June 26, 2015

4 years of forever!

This past week, we celebrate Donovan and Elijah's 
4 years of being in our arms!!! 

We love these days,
as we cherish how God has built our family.

But, we also share the grief of this day!

The day they walked away from their orphanage is joyous.
The day they became sons to us is a reason to celebrate!

But, the realization that no adoption 
is without major hurts,
and loss of their biological family
 is not forgotten.

I am so very thankful that Donovan and Elijah 
remember our time in Ethiopia with happy memories.

Memories of staying in the "fancy" hotel 
(as Donovan refers to it),
and driving Uncle JB "nuts" by pushing all the buttons
on everything in our rooms!!!
(Donovan still laughs about that!!)

The memories of Elijah constantly flooding the bathroom,
because we couldn't keep him out of the water!
And when Uncle JB almost had a heart attack when 
Elijah ran into the busy street 
right after their adoption was final!

Ohhhh that boy!!! 

The memories of flying home and the sweet teens on our flight 
who had just been on a summer mission trip and were on 
a wonderful spiritual high 
and didn't mind their seats being kicked every 30 seconds!
And having this new momma fall asleep 
as the teens entertained the boys!! 
(Total mom fail!!!)

The memories of getting off the plane and Donovan and Elijah 
seeing Daddy again 
and meeting the majority of our family!!

I love hearing their stories now of what they thought then!
(perk to adopting older kids!)

These two boys have forever changed our family 
and for that we are incredibly thankful! 
These past four years have brought us closer to our boys,
and closer to our Heavenly Father!
Learning more about PTSD has been very, very hard!
had we not said "yes" 
when God called us - 
we would not be who we are today,
and neither would our boys!

Looking back on the past four years I have to ask myself,
knowing now what I know now -
would I do this again? 

These boys are worth every ounce of energy that we have 
put into them,
and more!!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ten? Already???

I can't believe our Donovan is already 10 years old!!

We met him when he was 5 
and he turned 6 days before we were 
able to take him away from the orphanage!

(Donut cake requested again by the birthday boy!!)

This crazy, sweet, shy, sarcastic boy
stole my heart with the first photo that I saw of him!

(Wish I had gotten my good camera out - but we were in a hurry to get 
to our last day of swim lessons)

But the more I get to know him,
my love for him grows deeper and deeper!!

This sweetie is incredibly kind! 

He is a nurturer! 
He is the best big brother!

(Best bud!!!) 

Daily, I find him snuggled with one of his brothers!

He loves to help me in the kitchen,
and help Dad and Conner with yard work.
He loves hands on learning!

Donovan loves being on the soccer field!
After almost every game I have a parent come to me 
and complement Donovan on his ability
to read the field 
and his strong leg that is almost always on target!

(T and Donovan have been friends since kindergarten! T was so sweet to Donovan
when Donovan had only been home for 7 weeks and started school!
The boys don't see each other very often but they are besties!)

Donovan does have some struggles,
and birthdays are always a bit rough.

(After soccer game, birthday celebration!!! )

Donovan was raised for the first 3'ish years 
by his biological family in Ethiopia. 
Birthdays always seem to bring up those memories 
and I cherish the conversations that we have about 
his memories,
and the silent moments that we share -
sometimes you just don't have to say a word!

Our family is forever changed by this boy!
We are so thankful to call him "son"!!!

(Mom and Dad couldn't decide what to get our sweet boy -
so we decided to let him pick for himself!
Love that he loves Lego's!) 

Happy 10th birthday Donovan!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Really?? You've got to be kidding me!!!

I have been really bad at blogging lately,
but I had to document this!
Our blog is used as my little family photo album,
and this just had to be in here too!!

This happened,

oh yes, 

just weeks before traveling to China to bring home 
our Laynee and Miles!!

At first we were told the water that we saw
in our bathroom was from a broken pipe 
in the foundation,
under a structural wall!! 
Oh, that is NOT good!

Then we noticed steam coming out of our dishwasher
when the dishwasher was cold!! 
Kinda freaky!!

I went out of town for a business convention...
hubby was home with 9 kids and water issues!!
Bless his heart!!!

He called the dishwasher repair man who quickly made the conclusion 
that the dishwasher had a broken valve,
and that was were all the water was coming from.
Better than water from the foundation!!

Needless to say, our floors needed to be pulled up,
and vans and de-humidifiers needed to be brought in 
so that no mold would grow!

We now wait on insurance to get this all together 
and we will get new wood floors
before we leave for China!! 

This is not what we planned for this month,
and I was in complete shock when I got home 
to see all the floors ripped up,
before we had a game plan!

But, nothing will keep us from Laynee and Miles!! 
Plane tickets are bought!
Visa's are in hand!
Packing has begun today!! 

In 31 days we will be holding this spit fire!!

And cuddle with this sweet pea!

To God be the glory!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kindergarten Graduation


What a year!!! 

All the fears I had in sending my boy to his first day of kindergarten!!

Worrying about how the kids were going to treat him!

Worrying more about how the adults 
were going to talk to their kids about him!
(adults can be really stupid)

To see him grow and spread his wings,
not allowing me to walk him down the kindergarten hall,

and then not even want me to walk into the school with him.
Really dude?
Give your mom a break!!

Then breaking the news to him that he would have to have 
major surgery and be out of school,
and away from his friends for 2 months!!

The anxiety of sending him back to school,
in his back brace!
Making sure everyone knew his limitations!

And watching him 
become more and more confident in himself 
and in his friends!!

The looks he got from people at the beginning of the year,
were always so inquisitive.
Innocent - just inquisitive for the most part.

To now, 
we can't walk near the school without students of all ages yelling, "Hagan"
and wanting a fist bump!
And all the girls squeal with delight when they see him!

He is the Super Star of the school!!

Watching my son enjoy his Kindergarten Graduation!! 

Of course, he now thinks he is so smart that 
he "will be going to college with Kenzie tomorrow!
He will bring his clothes and blankets too!"

Ohhh not yet, buddy!! 
I am so NOT ready for that!!! 

Congratulations Hagan!!

You are one in a million!!
We love you more than you will every know!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Another option!!!

We are excited to add another t-shirt design 
to our fund raising!!! 

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance 
about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

FAITH - is Laynee's middle name!

The poppy flowers on the front have special meaning too.
Miles "John" is named after my father,
who was called to heaven before meeting 11 of his 12 grandkids.
But they all know him by his grandpa nickname of "poppy".

This scripture verse is one of my favorite verses.
Though we don't know God's plan, 
we can be assured that HE is in control
and has a plan
far beyond what we could think of. 

Like our Superman tee's we will be holding our first round of sales until June 1st.
And have a goal of 75 tee's for each design!
The Faith tee's can be ordered in regular fit or fitted.
Superman tee's are only regular fit.
They are both soft fabric tee's, very comfortable!

Thank you for your support!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Miles turned 3!

When I first saw my boys photo 2 years ago,

I couldn't imagine missing one of his birthdays!

We've now missed 3!

This year we celebrated a world a part - 
but never, ever again buddy!!!

This was your last birthday 
without your forever family!! 

We're sooo excited to get you home
and celebrate the amazing treasure that you  are
every single day!!!
(though there probably wont be cake every day -
but with our over-sized family,
there is a lot of birthday cakes throughout the year!)

FYI - our fundraising to help bring Miles and Maklayne home is still going on!
June 1st is our last day to take orders. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Superman was adopted!!!

We are so excited to announce our 
t-shirt fundraiser!!!

Isn't that so cool!!

Fund the Nations has done an amazing job
of designing this for us!! 

You can go to our 
Gofundme account 
to place your order,
and make your donation.

Our goal is 75 shirts by June 1st!

Thank you so much for helping us bring our babies home!!
We are so grateful for each and every gift!!
To God be the glory!

Ohhhh my goodness!!!
They are just too cute!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jailyn says, "Never quit!"

Jailyn had her gymnastics State competition 
this saturday,
and though she did really well -

it was more than her medals 
that brought this momma to tears!

Last year's state meet was a rough one!

Jailyn and I were focused on her upcoming 
We were both really nervous and 
sometimes it's just hard to focus on doing any flips!

After Jai's craniofacial and bone graft surgery,
she was out of gymnastics for 3 months.

(Jai's bear, "whitney" in her 2014 state t-shirt)

When she finally got back to the gym,
she was very nervous about hurting her hip
and mouth.

She has spent the year fighting back!

She has had many, many ups and down!!!!

Struggling through the long work out hours,
when she just wanted to stay home and play
with her friends.

She absolutely loves this sport,
but the emotional ride can be a rough one on a 9 year old!

But she never gave up!!

She saw friends achieve their goals 
and be successful,
she was always happy for them but often struggled 
through the tears, asking me 
if the sacrifice will be worth it?
I tried to tell her that "what if?"
What it she quit now,
just when all of her work was about to pay off.
Of course she had to make that decision.

After meeting with her coach, 
she decided that she would commit to another year!
And work her hardest to succeed at the State meet!

But that darn beam,
was her nemesis!!!  
Falling at least once at each meet 
(which she hadn't done in seasons before). 

And that she did!!! 
All of her events were the strongest she has ever done!

Bars 8.90 - 6th place!!!

Beam 9.225 - 2nd place!
Her nemesis!!!!

2nd place, y'all!!!!

Floor 9.075 - 6th place!!! 

Vault 9.275 - 8th place!!!

When I had realized that she had made the podium for
every event -
I thought maybe she will get something for

And she did!!!
She got 3rd Place!!!

This girl was ecstatic!!!
And her momma was in tears!!!

Jailyn has taught me so much since the first day I held her
in Nanjing China!
But today, she reminded me
to never give up!
Never quit!!

God has given us all such amazing talents and gifts,
sometimes we have to dig deep
to get through the bumps in the road -
but when we stay focused
we will succeed!!

To God be the glory!!
We are so thankful to HIM for bringing
our little champion home to us!


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