a triple play

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 30th is a big day at our house.  It's Lily's adoption day, and also Yana and my birthdays. 

We did a weekend celebration this year.  We started out on Saturday evening, celebrating our sweet Lily.  She was so happy about her cake!  And we were so happy about having nine years with our wonderful daughter!  You are a precious gift, Lily!  We love you!

Gotta love those brothers!

We gave Lily (and Grace) an Only Hearts Club Girl and horse.  I love Only Hearts Club Girls.  They are so sweet.  For their adoption days, we try to give the kids something either from their home country or something that will encourage their relationships in the family.  Since Yana already had an Only Hearts Club Girl and horse, the three of them can now play with them all together.

Okay, this was just too cute.  Grace put her doll's shoes away with her shoes.

Today, we celebrated Yana's birthday by going on a hike.  It was a beautiful day!
Don't you just love Lily and Teresa's shorts?! 
Feels like I stepped back into the 80's.
Lily told me that if she got lost, I could just look for her shorts!

I asked Adam to not do anything dangerous while I'm in India.  He said that he wouldn't climb any trees.

David, Tia and Yana.

This photo reminds me of an Eddie Bauer or REI add.

Bryan carried Grace a lot of the way.  Hooray, Bryan!

A lolipop break.

The birthday girl.
Happy 13th my precious Yana!
We love you!

Tomorrow will be a peaceful day.  David, Grace and I will go out for breakfast.  My friend, Meredith and I will have a little time together in the afternoon.  And then, we'll have a family evening at home.  Sounds like a great way to spend a birthday!

By the way, I'm turning 40!

image signature

Jehovah -Rapha...He heals!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I am so thankful today for our healing God!!  On Saturday, David and I noticed that the little bit of exposed bone in Jadon's mouth was exposed even more.  Per the doctor's orders, we put him back on a liquid diet.

Then yesterday at church, a number of the brethren prayed for our sweet boy.  Today, I took Jadon to see the doctor and he said that his mouth looked great!!!  I looked in his mouth, as well, and there is no doubt that our God is the Mighty Healer!  Jadon's mouth didn't even look close to how it looked on Saturday.  The bone was completely covered over!

Thank you, Lord, that you are our Jehovah-Rapha!  You are our healer!

image signature

First Day of School (expanded)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

After almost 8 years of homeschooling, God has led us to something new.
And His leading was pretty clear.
So even though it was a little hard for this mama
(and even more so for the papa),
our little brood has started school.

The first day went wonderfully.
Excitement was rampant!
And the neat thing is that they are all together.
Plus, they are with their brothers and sisters from our church.
They're learning to love even more.
They're learning respect, honor, discipline and vision.

And that's a blessing to this mama
(and to papa too!).

And not to worry.
We'll be with them all, helping at the school at least twice a week.

We can't let them go that easily.


Expanded version for Jennifer (and anyone else who might be interested):

I've been wanting to write a post about our school decision for awhile now, but with Jadon's surgery and getting ready to go to India, I haven't had a chance to do it (until now).

Last winter, our church started looking into having a school.  We live in a state that has abundant opportunities for charter schools, alternative-style schools, etc.  A sister at our church came across a computer-based school that offered a lot of flexibility.  Although we would have to use their curriculum, there would be a lot of freedom to discuss the Lord, emphasize godly character, etc.  Plus, it would be FREE and people from our church would be paid to teach there.

The two drawbacks (for David and I), were that we felt there was too much computer time, and there would only be one full-time teacher.  So, though we were supportive of the school, we didn't think that it would work for our children this year.

Then, a couple of months ago, we found out that the computer time would be drastically reduced.  A couple of weeks after that, the Lord made it possible for another man from our church (who had been a youth group leader and a public school teacher for many years) to teach, as well. These two things fully answered our concerns about the school and we knew that God was leading us to enroll our children. 

You may wonder why that would be if we really enjoy homeschooling.  Wouldn't homeschooling still be the best option?

In many cases, it is the best option.  There simply aren't a lot of schools where the emphasis is on loving the Lord with one's whole heart, soul and mind.  And though I know of many wonderful Christian families who have their children in public school, David and I didn't feel that was an option for our children. We have homeschooled for these past 8 years because we wanted to instill a great love for God in their hearts.  And though they do love the Lord, it is difficult to help our children live a fully Christian way of life in isolation.  It is extremely important to us that our children learn to love their neighbor as themselves and to really see other christians as their brothers and sisters.  This is not impossible in a homeschool environment, but many times homeschooling can breed individualism.  It absolutely does not have to, and there are many incredible homeschool families out there.  But, from our experience it took a lot of work to make sure our kids were learning to love others, and not be consumed with themselves.

So, the bottom line is that we want our children to love God and to love his body (the church).  We want them to grow up with their identity in the Lord and His people.  We want them be in an environment that fosters a way of life that centers around the Lord.  We want them to learn to reach out to others.  For us, this school is a gift from the Lord in order to help our children do just that.

The school has 16 children, two teachers (who we know and trust) and many parent/grandparent volunteers.  Grace is going half days, and for two of those days I'll be teaching her, along with one other kindergarten student and a first-grade student.  David will be helping with the older children, and next year, I'll be able to work with the older children, as well.  How wonderful to be able to be completely involved in my children's education, but also to have other teachers who reinforce what they are learning at home and in church.  Thank you, God, for your many kindnesses and gifts of great love!

image signature
Posted by Picasa

au revoir

Thursday, August 19, 2010

sweet summer days...

David got off from work early yesterday, and we took the kids to the park.

We enjoyed the sunshine.


And the playground.

Yana had a fun time balancing.

As did Adam (Jadon wanted to stand up, as well, but mom was too worried about his mouth and hip!).

Uncharacteristically, Dad laid down to rest for a few minutes.

Posted by Picasa

But that didn't last for long.

Dad's the best jungle gym

And hugger.

He's great to sit on.

And to snuggle.

Eventually Dad left his "peaceful" spot to play tag.

Ahhh...the last day of summer for this crew.


image signature

little confirmations and encouragements

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why India? (part 4)

Our God is so very kind.  He loves to encourage us and He loves to answer our prayers.  He loves to give us little indications that we are on the right path, and He always shows us if we are on the wrong path.  This simple journey to India has been a lesson in listening to our Lord.  He has been gently guiding me along the way, and there is no doubt in my mind where He is leading.  He has used a variety of creative ways to show me His will and to help me engage my will.

For example, a few months ago, I had emailed Jennifer, asking for prayer regarding a decision that David and I were making. I mentioned later that this possible decision might interfere with whatever God wanted to do in India (of which I had no idea what it could be!).  This is how Jennifer responded.

"I spent time at a woman's conference at our new church two weekends ago...there I met an American woman, married to an Indian man and they have 4 children...after living here for 3 years so he could attend Bible college, they are moving back in the fall to open another children's school/orphanage.  She spoke of her life as it is when they are in India at the conference. He spoke of their work in detail on Sunday morning. It was so hard to hear how tough it is there; but it's funny...I thought of you over and over and over."

a little confirmation

Then, after God had made it clear that I should go to India, and I was knee-deep in paperwork for our visas (okay, okay, I admit that I am a big wimp when it comes to paperwork!), God did something so thoughtful.  I was filling in the information for my passport and I realized that if I had waited even just a few days to start this process that my passport wouldn't have had the required 6 months left on it to apply for the visa.  I would have had to get a new passport, and I probably wouldn't have been able to go until later in the fall or winter.

another little confirmation

Then, one day when I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all that needed to be done to get ready for our trip, God did something so very kind.  I was driving by a garage sale (I hardly ever go to garage sales and hadn't been to one all summer), and I said to the Lord, "Lord, I need a little encouragement.  Could I find a skirt (to take to India) at this garage sale?"

Well, I stopped and looked around for a few minutes.  There was a small pile of clothes near the side of the yard.  And guess what?!  In that pile was an ankle-length (necessary for women in India), cotton (necessary for the heat) skirt in my size!  I tell you that is really a miracle.  I am tall and it is very hard to find long skirts in my size.  This one was perfect.  When I went to buy it (for $2.00), the woman said, "I still really like that skirt, but I just thought that I'd put it in the sale.  I wore it in Europe."

"Oh.  I'm going to wear it in India."

She smiled.

a little encouragement

Don't you just love Him?!  Isn't He so incredibly thoughtful and kind?!

Thank you, Lord, for your care in every little detail of our lives.
I do so love you, Father and I love following wherever You lead.
image signature
Posted by Picasa

Quote of the day

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"When I grow up, I'm going to have no self-consciousness. I'm going to go the grocery store in my bathrobe."

Honestly, I have no idea where she comes up with these things!

image signature
Posted by Picasa

contributions for SCH (updated)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Update: for those of you who have asked, if you could get these things to me by August 27th, that would be very helpful. That way, I can get everything packed up the weekend before I leave.

A couple of people have asked me if they could ship some things to me to take to SCH.  That would be wonderful!  You can send me an email if you're interested in contributing and I'll give you my address.

Here are some of the things that they need.  Used would be totally fine on a number of these things, as long as they are still in good condition.  Thanks so much!

--CPR Manikins like these.

--"Pumie" sticks (pumice sticks for cleaning hard-water stains from tile & porcelain)--they could use tons of these
--Hair bows & jewelry for girls
--Baby toys
--Bottle brushes
--Duffel bags/sports bags (used is great)
--Baby bags/backpacks
--Tape: Masking, duct, clear strapping
--Cheap washcloths from Walmart
--Caladryl Clear
--Cranberry pills for UTI's
--Kiddie scissors

image signature


This guy is just too funny...

image signature

so grateful

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Friends, thank you so much for your prayers!  I've felt them and am doing much better.  Sunday and Monday were exhausting, but Tuesday and Wednesday have been great!  I know that my sweet hubby would appreciate your prayers, as well (he's pretty tired, too).

I'm so grateful for the adoption community.  You guys really are incredible!  You understand the struggles and joys that these special children face, and are always ready to pray, offer wise counsel and send a word of encouragement.  After my last blog post, Jennifer sent this email:
So glad to read that Jadon is doing well. Really....really, really thankful.  I'm SO sending prayers of thanks that things are moving along well for Jadon!! And definitely prayers for you that you get some rest....totally "got it" why you might be physically and emotionally spent right now!!!
If I were there, I'd take your other kids for playdates to give you a little break and bring you a dinner. Sigh...guess I have to send you an "e-dinner". So, would you rather have Tex-mex or Chinese? I've learned to make a pretty mean eggroll-in both ethnicities. If you choose Tex-Mex, then I'd add some fresh salsa....everything but the lime and salt from our garden. With those chips shaped like little bakets for dipping. But, Jadon needs something I'd work on softening up a small batch of our southwest chicken casserole or skillet tortilla casserole. Peaches are in season here....I'd have to include a peach crisp for dessert. And fresh peaches to whip up a smoothie for Jadon. Hum....I guess you better pick Mexican; I'm much better at that. See 'cause out here in DE where many people actually don't even know what a burrito is, I've had to learn to 'do for ourselves" if we want to fulfill our Tex-mex needs. So, even though you can't actually "eat" the e-dinner, you know I'm sending it with lots of hugs, love and care!!

Now, how sweet is that?!  Really!!

Jennifer also wrote the most wonderful, thought-provoking blog post on the day of Jadon's surgery here.  And she had a part to play in my deciding to go to India, as well (I'll write more about that on another day)!

Just think!  I might not have known Jennifer or so many of you if it weren't for our precious children, in whom we have so many things in common.  I'm so very grateful for you, friends.  You have truly been a blessing to me in so many ways.  I thank God for each of you!

image signature

He answers

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Why India?" (part 3)

At this point in the story, God had given me two dreams about SCH, and it was clear to me that He had something in mind.  I just didn't know what!

Then, David and I heard about a group of women who were going to SCH to visit and help for two weeks in September. We were praying about my going. On a Saturday morning close to when the group was going to buy their tickets, I told David that we would need to make a decision very soon. David prayed in faith that God would give an answer. Later that afternoon, David went to the Prayer House (if you want to know about the Prayer House in our city, go here.  You will be so encouraged!)

 It was a prayer week (we have 24/7 prayer one week per month at the Prayer House) and a sister who was there asked David if she could talk to him for a minute. She said that while she was praying, the Lord said to her, "Sarah should go to that orphanage." Now, this sister knew a little bit about SCH, but she had NO IDEA that David and I were praying about my going.  She also said that she wasn't praying about anything related to us or to orphans or India (etc.).  She simply heard His voice.
Isn't our God so very kind?!  He just loves to answer our prayers.  He gives us the answers we need, right when we need them.  The sister shared some other things that I'll have to save for a little bit later.  But, honestly, I can't wait to see what God is going to do!

And in other God-answering news:  Jadon is doing great!  The doctor said that his mouth looks good.  Please keep praying that the tissue would heal together and the stitches would not break (so far, so good).
The doctor also said (drum roll here...) Jadon can actually do whatever he wants to do, as long as he doesn't bump his hip or mouth!  So, I'm not sure what happened to 5 weeks of restricted activity, but I can say that Jadon (and his parents!) were very grateful to hear this news!

If you have a moment, I would sure appreciate your prayers, because even though Jadon is doing wonderfully, Jadon's mom is pretty tired :).  Please pray that I would be a blessing to my family and all those around me, and that I would have sweet fellowship with Jesus.  Thanks so much, dear friends.  I know that He'll answer!

image signature
Posted by Picasa

a little sympathy

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Today, we decided that we wanted to show love to our little Jadie, by ALL sticking to a liquid diet and limiting our activity (no jumping on the neighbor's trampoline, no bike-riding, etc.).  It was GREAT, because it helped us to feel a little more sympathy for Jadon, who is on a liquid diet for 2 weeks and who has limited activity for 5 weeks.

One thing that made it super-fun to be on the liquid diet was the popsicle maker that Aunt Joyce sent to Jadon.  Wow!  I've never seen anything like it and certainly have never had such a fancy kitchen-gadget.  We had a great time making watermelon popsicles, and an even greater time eating them!

Aunt Joyce also sent Jadon two cards in the mail!  What a special encouragement she has been to Jadon!  In fact, there have been MANY people who have done such special things to make Jadon's surgery and recovery SO MUCH easier.  Thank you to Aunt Joyce, Aunt Cindy and Uncle Mark, Oma, Opa, Grammy, Grandma and Grandpa, the Penrods, the Bursheks, the Schroeders, the Croslands, Aunt Mercy and Uncle Ken, the Days, the Perkins', the Vigils, Jadon's ZhangZhou group, many of you blog-readers, and others.  All of these people have either called, sent emails, watched our children or given gifts to our precious little guy.  We love you all and are so grateful for your kindness to our family!

image signature

Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger