Family

Family
Lonely no More:)
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew18:5



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fun with Cousins

I just love this little bunch of kiddos!  We have several pictures over the years of them lined up on the couch, or stacked on the stairs.  Poor Grace is almost lost behind her big cousin Sherman! Hans was stuck to Harrison all day and didn't get far from him for the picture either.  Him and Quin thought it was cool to wear their hats like a "cool dude" turned around backwards.  We missed you Tigger and Kell!  Wish you would have been here too!

Harrison (in the red) who always needs to spice things up a little.....thought they should act like they are on a roller coaster.....sounded good to everyone else!


  These two little guys tagged along with Harrison like small shadows all day:)  He really enjoyed them.....a little Hero worship is good for everyones self esteem once in a while:)  They are the same age as Wren Dayu, but outweigh her by at least 15lbs, and are about 5-1/2 inches taller.


I added this picture so you can get a better idea of size.  Gracie is the same size as the boys..(she's older) but a little mite.  Wren Dayu is 5-1/2" shorter than her, and about 10lbs lighter.  And I think Grace seems little!

Our little girls are going to have so much fun with this sweet bunch of kids!



Thursday, August 25, 2011

God's Word...New each day.

Why is it that you can read a verse or chapter or a whole book in scripture, and while yes it's always good.....sometimes the words seem to jump out at you, or present themselves in a whole new way?  As I was reading Psalm 104 this morning the words some how just kind of amazed me.....i got a visual picture that i never had before....I'm probably just slow..and the rest of you are way ahead of me here:)  but when I read in verse1-4..but especially the lines.....He.....
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind.
WOW!  How cool is that!  What an awesome God we serve!  Then in the verses 28-30 ...
What YOU give them they gather in:
YOU open Your hand , they are filled with good. 
YOU hide Your face, they are troubled
YOU take away their breath, they die and return to their dust
YOU send forth YOUR spirit, they are created
And YOU renew the face of the earth
May the Glory of the Lord endure forever!

And then we have the arrogance to think we don't need God, when the very breath we breathe depends on the Spirit HE has breathed into us.  And he Loves us....and wants the best for us! Bless the Lord O my soul!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Introducing Kyndahl

She's Adorable:)
She is Attending college near by
She resides with us
She is dating Thatcher
She babysits our kids:):):) that deserves 3 smiley's at least!
She has a heart of Gold
She does her own laundry:) my kind of resident!
She appreciates my shopping finds....shoes, sweaters, decor etc.
She helps cook and clean up***** that gets a five star rating!
We just love this girl.


Her older sister started Kindergarten with our oldest son Ashley.  so I guess we have known her and her family since she was 3yrs. old.  Her mother and I were room mothers together from Kindergarten through 4th grade for our oldest 2.  When we moved from Ohio, to Kansas in 2000, our families stayed in touch.  When she decided to attend College near us, we were able to see her often.  When life at the dorms became unbearable, we moved her in with us, now we claim her as one of ours:) So while we have always loved her, it's been such a blessing to get to know her and her family better in the last year.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What's in a Name?

Absolutely not!
If you name her that, I'm going to call her Watson.
One name completely torn from the list.....
That is the dumbest name I've ever heard.
That sounds like an old Lady.
No earth, moon, stars hippie nature names mom!

These are just a few of the comments... and snide remarks I've dealt with from my boys, in the name process!  Does everyone have this much trouble coming up with a name for their children?  Or maybe they are smart and don't give anyone any input until the name is decided on..... and then just tell them..... this is it.  Well as they say....hind sight.......sigh.

At my wits end...... I finally decided to try..... another mom's idea.....to ask God what His name for this little girl is.
   Isaiah 43:1 says.....  But now says the Lord who created you O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
 And Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7 both talk about the hairs of our head being numbered.....God obviously knows the intimate details of our make up.........so I decided it was reasonable to ask God to show me what her name was supposed to be.  If it were to be Wren.....I asked him to show me, when I opened the bible,  a scripture with the word bird, wing, fowl of the air.....anything to do with a bird.  And if it was supposed to be Iley......the other name in the final count down........to show me a scripture with island, or isle.  So only about half beleiving......I opened the bible......it fell open to Psalm 36:7.....under the shadow of his wings!....but me..... the doubting one... i'm like... ok....maybe that one was coincidence because i've had it opened to that alot, it might just be a weak spot....  So I did it again.....this time the first verse that I started to read was Jeremiah 7:33...."The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth.  (a little morbid...definately not a well read scripture for me!)  and add to that that yesterday I half heartedly did the same thing.....i forget which scripture I turned to, but it was something about a dove!  At this point I was convinced!  I told Troy about the whole experience, and he said great, sounds like it's decided. (He really liked Isley best) .....a few minutes later....we were riding in the car during this whole process.....I decided to read my morning lesson......because I hadn't had a chance to do it that morning, and I opened to Psalms: 97 and read~ The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!  I didn't even know that word was in the Bible!  So he could have pointed me there!.....And so...... Her name is Wren.... 
 
Our Cheeky Wren:) look at those little stuffed cheeks:)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

They wonder why family pictures take so long! HELLO?

                    because you have to have several like this...

                                          and like this...........................
before you can get one like this...............


 
Some worried about the couch holding up...


                           The old barn never looked so good;-)


                     Quakers meeting has begun.........no more laughing........

Considering 2!

147 million Orphans!  Think of all the little people crying themselves to sleep.  Or maybe they don't cry any more because no one comes to comfort them, so why cry.  No one to tuck them in, and no home to go home to... where someone  "loves them most of all."  God seemed to whisper to our hearts....Why just one, when there are so many.  We are prayerfully considering adopting two children at the same time.  Our homestudy is approved for two, and if the USCIS approves us for two, then the only thing stopping us is our own fears......and finances.  We are trusting God to handle both of these concerns.  HOW BIG IS OUR GOD?
Big enough!  Please pray with us that His will will be done, and he will bring that child to us in some way, If we are meant to open our hearts to two.  And if not, that he will close those doors also.

Everyone we have talked to about adopting two at the same time, says "yes it is harder"  "yes it's more work"  It's double the fun......but double the trouble:) It's takes a lot of your time, and a little more effort to bond with two at the same time. It's NOT easy, but it's doable, and worth it.   We are concerned that we won't be able to give enough focused attention to Dayu's sign language, but at the same time.... while we are signing to her we can be talking,  and the other one can be learning sign and spoken english at the same time.  That would give Dayu some one to interpret for her in social settings  as well.  A sister/brother that could learn sign language along with her.  They will both have to learn English.......in one form or another.  We just have to learn English through sign, so we can teach it to them. Pray that we can learn to sign fluently! 

New Pictures with Friends

This is our latest update.  So fun to see her interacting with her friends.  She is looking older in each set of pictures we get:(  Please hurry this paperwork!  We need to get to our little girl.  I am trying to be patient and, I know God is in control, and it will be in his perfect timing.......but.......I get so anxious! 


Here's that peace sign again! Cute little bunny:)

Dayu is on the far right.

Not looking shy here!

Dress up fun. It's a girl thing!  Even in China:)

New Pictures with Funky Hairdo

We received these from a family who visited the orphanage while adopting their little girl.  These updates are such a boost to our spirits, but make us so sad too.  She is growing up away from us, and we are missing so much of her life:(  But are thankful she is well cared for.  Nice hairdo huh:) Not sure what all the scratches are from.  Maybe she got into a scrap with some other child?? Wonder what the other guy looks like!  The 2 fingers held up must be a China thing.  I've seen several other kids doing this also.  Not sure what it means...maybe Peace?  Wish it was sign language!

These pictures were taken in July





Sign Language Videos Update


A random picture of Dayu and friends. She is in the red coat and Dark pants.

We sent 13 sign language DVD's to Dayu's orphanage.  We got this reply back from them.  This was VERY exciting news to us!  Please Lord, help them get some language into these little people!  I pray that they will learn to communicate at least among themselves!  I can't imagine being 4.5 and not being able to tell anyone anything!  Maybe you guys could do this......but she's a girl:)  Girls need to express themselves!

They have received the materials and they have started working with the hearing impaired children (including Dayu). The director told that Dayu has made progress with the help of the materials.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Random pictures

A birthday party!  The adoptive parents had a cake sent to the orphanage.  Dayu is the little girl in the pink shirt behind the girl in yellow.  She looks so  delighted with the cake:)
   


 





In the lunch room.  These are from other families adopting from the same orphanage that have traveled to get their children already.  We are so Blessed to have these!

Our 2nd Update

The agency allows us to contact the orphanage, through them,  2 times in the course of the adoption.  We chose to ask a bunch of questions now, and then we will get updates just before we travel on her size, measurements, weight, height, favorite colors etc.  These are the questions we sent, and the orphanage's answers.
     a. Is she a cooperative child or stubborn? She has a little stubborn.
     b. Is she spunky or passive? Is she outgoing or reserved around people?
She is spunky when she was encouraged. She is reserved around people.
     c. Is she Bright, average, or developmentally challenged? She is bright.
     d. Is she affectionate?  She is affectionate.
      e. Does she bond with caretakers and children?
She bonds well with her caretaker.
      f. Does she have a close friend, or a child she picks to play with ? If so, what is the age and gender of the child?
Yes, she has a close friend called Zhong Shi Yi, female, 3 years old. 
     g.  How does she compare in understanding with children her age.
Her understanding ability is normal compared with children on her age.
     h. Is she happy, sad, or unresponsive by nature.
She has a little sad. She is cooperative when she is interested in something.
i.                    Does she laugh, or understand when something funny happens?
She will laugh and can understand.
     j. Does she understand what is going on around her?  Yes, she knows.
     k. Is she inquisitive and watchful,   watchful
     l. does she live in her own world or is she involved with her environment/surroundings? She is involved.
     m. Does she have allergies, or any other health issues besides her hearing?  No.
     n. How is her eyesight? Is there any concerns with her vision?
No, there is no concern with her vision.
     o. Is she receiving any sign language, or communication instruction? Would you be willing to introduce it to her if materials were sent to help with it?
She knows a little sign language. She can express her daily basic needs. Yes, we’d love to.  
     p. “What” is she able to communicate through gestures and body language?
Eat, drink, go to pee-pee” etc simple needs.
     q. What does she enjoy doing most?  Does she play with dolls, color, draw. Balls, look at books, or other? She likes reading books. She likes playing dolls. She likes watching cartoon.
     r. Is she toilet trained?  Yes, she is.
     s. Is she dry at night?  Yes, she is.
     t. What is her physical development compared to other children her age?  Ex. Running, standing on one foot, eye hand coordination, gross and fine motor skills.
Her physical development is normal compared to other children her age.
     u. How would you describe her if you were talking to someone about her? 
Lovely, affectionate, timid
     v. What stands out most in your mind about her when you think of her?
Lovely, smart, likes laughing.
     w.  Would you say she is a leader or a follower? A follower
     x. Is she confident, or hesitant with new stimulation or circumstances?
She is hesitant with new circumstances.
     y. What would your biggest concern for her be?
She is timid when she sees strangers. Her photos have been attached.
Height: 36.25 inches   weight: 33 lbs    head size: 18.52 inches  
Chest size: 18.72 inches   foot length: 5.12 inches

Now we feel like we know her a little bit.  There are so many more questions I would love to ask, and I wish they could have elaborated a little more, but we are grateful for this much.  I know there are many who don't have even this much information.

We receive her file


When we received her file, these updated pictures were included.  Along with a baby picture, and a couple of others that I can't get to copy.  Her records indicated that she was completely healthy and on target for her age, except for her hearing.  There was also an attached paper with a few questions that someone had asked about her.  Possibly someone who had considered her before us.
a.       Does she have any response to sound?
She has no response to sound.
b.      How does she communicate?
She communicates with others through gestures and body language.
c.       Does she interact with other children?
Yes, she plays well with other children.
d.      What is her personality like?
She is out-going and active.
e.       Can we get updated measurements?
Height: 37.43 inches   weight: 30.8 lbs    head size: 18.12 inches   
Chest size: 18.52 inches    Foot length: 4.53 inches   teeth number: 20
f.       Can get an updated photo?  Attached.

How did you pick a child?

I've been asked many times, "How did you ever pick just one child?"   "Why did you pick her?"   I didn’t.  She picked me.  I know, I know, It sounds a little flaky and “whatever” to anyone who hasn’t been through this, or touched in the same way, but there was something in her eyes.  I clicked on her picture….which was a tiny square……and looked like a little boy…….. it came up bigger on the screen……and my heart just stopped.  CLUNK.   I sat and stared for a few moments……then read the information under it.  Female….Deaf……I stared some more……then I reluctantly closed it, because…well we were  looking for boys, and deafness seemed like a vast unknown.   Over the course of the next few days, as I continued my search, I continually came across this same picture…….by accident? By design?  By divine intervention?   I don’t Know.  I can’t explain my attraction to this little person other than it seemed as if I knew her.  She was familiar to me. I finally printed it off, along with several  pictures of little boys, with their information,  to discuss with the family.  Did they all fall in love with her instantly like me?.........Nope…… it took some of them a little while to come around to the idea of girls....I think Troy knew I'd already decided, and there was really no point in a lot of discussion.  The next step was to request her file, and learn a little more about her.

How this Adoption Journey Began

It started with a blog~ http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/  If you haven't read it~DO!  This 22yr. old  girl is doing amazing things in Jesus' name.  She is an inspiration.  The next push was a book called Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.  If you haven't read it DO!  These were two of the biggest eye openers to me.  That and the fact that there are 147 million orphans.  I just had to stop and  think " What in my life is a reflection of Christs love for me?" What am  I doing, not because Christ loves me, but because I love Him.  Why aren't we giving a home to a child in need?  What's stopping us?  The list of excuses were pretty shallow and pathetic.......I've had four children, isn't that enough, We won't be able to travel, or have time for "just the two of us" we are getting too old, we really can't afford it.........HOW BIG IS OUR GOD?   Big enough to fill any need we have!  So here we go!  We are off on a wild ride with the God of the Universe!  This is the craziest Roller Coaster I've ever ridden!  Some days we just hold on and scream, other days we throw our hands in the air, and feel the rush of wind in our faces, then there are the days it seems like we are chugging up the hill.......wondering if we will ever make it to the top.....only to find when we start down the hill,  there's a huge curve in the track....or a tunnel that doesn't seem as if we can possibly make it through.  It's then that you have to trust the creator of the ride, and take comfort in the fact that others have survived the ride......and loved it.....and gone back to do it again.  Come ride with us!