first day...

Monday, July 30, 2012

It is an exciting day at our house when you are finally old enough to work with Dad! Last Wednesday, Grace had the opportunity to have her first real work day!

David had a fairly light 1/2 day of work planned, so he invited Grace along. My oh my! She was excited! 

When they got home, Grace told me all about their day. She retrieved tools from Dad's truck, she swept up wood shavings and she kept her Daddy company with all of her wonderful little chatter.

And what do you think was one of the best parts of the day...?
She got paid in


Competition or compassion?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

When we take a critical look at ourselves, we have to recognize that competition, not compassion, is our main motivation in life. We find ourselves deeply immersed in all sorts of comptetition. Our whole sense of self is dependent upon the way we compare ourselves with others and upon the differences we can identify. Then the question, 'Who am I?" is put to the powers of this world...the answer is simply, 'You are the difference you make.' It is by our differences, distinctions, that we are recognized, honored, rejected, or despised. Whether we are more or less intelligent, practical, strong, fast, handy, or handsome depends upon those with whom we are compared or those with whom we compete. It is upon these positive or negative distinctions that much of our self-esteem depends.
Compassion, McNeill, Morrison, Nouwen p. 19

Is it natural?

Friday, July 27, 2012

'Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.'
This command does not restate the obvious, something we already wanted but had forgotten, an idea in line with our natural aspirations. On the contrary, it is a call that goes right against the grain; that turns us completely around and requires a total conversion of heart and mind. It is indeed a radical call, a call that goes to the roots of our lives.
Compassion, McNeill, Morrison and Nouwen, p. 8

Is he your son?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I just love this video. Our little kaikai is in the red jacket and we think he is oh-so-cute! The little boy on the right is also in the process of being adopted (hooray!). But, the amazing, expressive boy in the middle is still waiting for his family to find him. These three boys are so close to one another, and it breaks my heart to think of "Brady" being alone after the other two have been adopted.

Is it possible that sweet "Brady" could be your son? Please let me know if you'd like more information about this precious boy. I'd be more than happy to tell you what I know!

a sweet day...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When we called our adoption agency yesterday, we discovered that the USCIS had sent them our original I-800A approval and that we, indeed, had the copy. Fortunately, our adoption agency isn't too far away from the Secretary of State's office, so we were able to pick up the original (which they notarized for us) and then take it to get certified at the Secretary of State's office. It is now in the mail, on it's way to the courier in Illinois so that it can be authenticated at the Chinese consulate.


David's parents, sister and two of her children were able to meet us for lunch while we were in Denver. Because of Grace's illness, we haven't been able to see them much this summer, so that was really nice.

Double Sweet!

And finally, we decided to visit Hammond's Candy Factory while we were in Denver. I'll give you one guess as to who was over-the-top excited about that!

Seriously Sweet!

(If you guessed Grace, you would definitely be correct!!
~although all of the kids really had a great time~)

It was a particularly sweet day, since it was really our first time out and about since Grace's illness. She has now gone over a week without any serious stomach trouble (just some little stomach cramps, and even those are much fewer and farther between). Thank you, Jesus, that our little girl could truly enjoy this sweet day!

Even more good mail, and somebody better hide my wallet!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh yes!
We got our updated I-800A.
At least I think we did.
It has a red "copy" stamped onto it, so I have to call our agency tomorrow and make sure that I got the right thing...If I did, the kids and I are heading to Denver to get it certified. Then, it goes to the Chinese consulate in Chicago to be authenticated. After that, it will be sent to our agency, and then it will be in the mail (along with the rest of our dossier) to CHINA!!! Woohoo!!!

I have to tell you.
We absolutely LOVED the video of Kaikai.
But, it made us a little bit sad, as well.
It seemed like the SWI was trying to show us what our little guy could do. That was super-nice, but honestly, we don't really care what he can do. We are committed to this precious boy, no matter how mobile he is. We are glad that he is mobile, but if he wasn't, we'd still be adopting him. We hope that he knows that! We want him to feel loved and accepted no matter what his abilities are!

So....I've been going a little bit crazy buying him things. I feel like sending him a package every single day. I want him to know that we are coming for him no matter what! Oh my we love this little boy!!!

I came across these photos yesterday. Our little cutie is the one in the yellow and white shirt.
Could he be any sweeter?!
Well, we don't think so!

Oh sweet Kaikai, we love you! Thank you, Father, that it won't be too long before we are holding this precious little boy in our arms!!!

More amazing mail!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Goodness gracious, we are overflowing in wonderful emails. Today, we received this video link from our adoption agency. My, oh my, how we love this little boy! (And by the way, Kaikai is wearing the shirt that we sent fun!)

I just have to say that we LOVE our adoption agency (CCAI). They've been so wonderful to us. But, we are also over-the-top grateful to another adoption agency. CHI has partnered with Kaikai's orphanage. The room that he is playing in was completely sponsored by CHI. Plus, CHI actually paid for Kaikai's file to be completed so that he would be available for adoption. Stefani (the waiting child coordinator for CHI) advocated for our little guy and poured out her love upon him, in person, the last time she was in China. We are so grateful for all that they have done!!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I had a meeting this morning, and when I got back these were in my inbox!

Oh my goodness! I just love, love, love this little boy!!!!

We are super-excited because the SWI said that Kaikai received our package and that he knows he has a family who is coming for him...hooray!!!!

Here are some of the other things that they said about our precious little guy:

Kai Kai is an extremely smart, understanding child.  He has a bit of an introverted personality, and he doesn’t like to speak much.  He especially likes to smile, and Kai Kai can recite a lot of poetry, sing a lot of songs, and he can do simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  He can write lots of characters.  Kai Kai really likes to study, and he learns things so fast. He is really smart.  Sometimes he can even teach other children while learning with them.

    Kai Kai is an optimistic, courageous child, who is also very understanding and courteous.  He is like a big brother and takes care of the other children, he really likes to attend class, is very serious about his studies, and he really likes to play with the other children.  When you see his pure smiling face, it is honestly so cute.

Oh my goodness gracious! I cannot wait to kiss those pure, smiling cheeks and look, in person, at that smiling little face!!! Oh Jesus, let it be soon, soon, soon!

What's new with Jadon (and a few out-takes)...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jadon had an exciting day on Friday. Can you guess (from this photo) what's new for our little guy?

I have to tell you that this is a completely staged was our final attempt to get some decent photos for our dossier for China (which, by the way, I sent to our adoption agency--minus the I-800A, which is coming soon--today!).

Here are some of the out-takes...

Seriously, the kids do great for photos.
Not so much.
(ahhhh...I love that man!)

Despite appearances, nobody was harmed during this photo shoot (Adam really is laughing!).

Okay, David, let's get serious here...

I mean it now...we really need a good picture!

Whew! That's it.
This one's going to China!

(And for those who've asked, Grace had two good days, although her stomach is hurting this evening. Please keep praying for our precious little girl. She is such a treasure and we know that our Father loves her much more than we ever could. We are trusting in Him for her complete healing! )

"What is one of your favorite things that God has done?"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grace: "That He made families!"

That's one of my favorite things, too, sweet girl.

absolutely blessed

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I was absolutely blessed to be able to spend half of the day hiking with my beautiful friend, Mary, today.

It is always beyond wonderful to spend time talking with Mary. Her heart is so set on the Lord, His Kingdom and all that He wants to do on this earth. She loves our precious Jesus and wants to love others as she has been loved. She and her family truly seek hard after Him, and I am always challenged and encouraged after talking with Mary.

Happy Birthday, Mary!
I love you and am so grateful to call you my friend.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

You all were so sweet to leave comments on my Lily-girl's blog. They were extremely encouraging to her. I'm thinking of keeping her blog open (at least for now), so if you'd like to read her latest post, click here.

And would you pray again for our Grace? Her stomach is hurting quite a bit today and she threw up this morning. They lowered the steroid dose, so that might be the problem. Pray that the Mighty Healer would bring full healing to our precious girl. He is just so very good!!! I love our beautiful Jesus!

fun money

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yesterday, Jadon was David's work helper.
Most of the money that the kids make when they work with David goes into a savings account (which they can only use to give away or to save for when they are older).
But they do get to keep some of the money to spend as they'd like.

Jadon had a special request for his payment yesterday. He asked for two $2 bills and a $1 coin for payment. David was happy to oblige and Jadon was soooo excited.

On their last work stop of the day, David was talking to the homeowner about Jadon's special payment. The homeowner told David that she thought Jadon was super-nice cute and so nice, and then she disappeared. When she came back, she had another $1 coin in her hand...and guess who she gave it to?

 I think that Jadon was just a little bit excited about his extra coin!

Is he cute, or what?!!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grace is doing soooo much better.
So far, the doctors have ruled out celiac disease, appendicitis, a UTI and most likely, any viruses.

So what does she have?

Our doctor said that it is one of two things:

1) Something that he's never seen before (uh, okay).
2) HSP (Henoch Schonlein Purpura), which last for about 6 weeks and includes a rash (hers was very slight), joint soreness (which she hasn't had), blood in the urine (which she'll probably have for about six months) and intestinal pain (which she had worse than most, but which is very minor now that she is taking a steroid).

HSP isn't a virus, but is triggered by upper respiratory viruses (Grace had hand, foot and mouth disease the week before she got really sick).

I'm not sure if we'll ever know what she definitely has.

But, one thing is for certain...

we love seeing that smile back on her face!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

David and I are unashamedly hiding out in our room, eating Qdoba chips and queso.

Did you know that Qdoba has a happy hour from 2-4

Free chips and queso,
with the purchase of a drink.

We are enjoying every bite.

Now we just need to hide the evidence from the kids....

from difficulty to strength

Saturday, July 7, 2012

After reading this blog post by my wonderful friend, Meredith, I decided sto re-read one of my favorite books...

Strengthen Yourself In The Lord

and the Lord is speaking to me:

"So as I navigate the various challenges and obstacles on the highway to my destiny, I'm watching the warning lights of my heart. I must sustain my connection with the Source of life...I can't afford to have a moment in my life when circumstances distract me from tending that fire in my heart..."

Did you know that Saul pursued David for over 10 years?
10 years!!
And all throughout that time, David tended the fire of God in his own heart and in the hearts of the mighty men (who were once outcasts) whom he was training for battle. He didn't let discouragement distract Him from the call of God on his life. He put his trust in the Lord of heaven and of earth...not in his circumstances.

2012 has been a difficult year for us.

It was difficult when we lost all of the money for our adoption.
It was one of the most difficult times in my life when we realized that we wouldn't be able to adopt R.
It has been difficult to let go of many dreams, in regards to India.
It was difficult to see Grace in such pain for almost three weeks.
Communication with people that I love is sometimes difficult.

But, what pales in comparison to all of these things is the difficulty that I find myself in when I turn my gaze from the Lover of my soul.
So much of the difficulty of 2012 stems from the fact that there are times when I ignored the need to tend that holy fire in my heart. I have allowed circumstances to distract me from His presence. I have doubted His goodness and His mercy. I have let go of His call on my life and have taken my gaze off of His beautiful face.

Thanks be to God that He gives us continual opportunities to turn our eyes to Him! He is so forgiving and kind. He does not leave us unto ourselves. He pours out His mercy and strength as we seek after Him. I so want to sit in His presence and gaze on His glorious face. I want to seek Him when things are going well AND when things are difficult. I want to hold on to His promises. I want to always sustain my connection with the Source of life.

So, I want to proclaim now that despite some appearances, 2012 is a magnificent year! He is teaching me new things. He is helping me to grow in faith. He has created beauty from ashes by allowing us to adopt precious Kaikai. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus. Oh how I love this boy!) He has allowed us to see Grace restored to health (again, thank you, Jesus!!!). He has abundantly provided for our adoption expenses. He is helping me not to look to my circumstances, but to remember how He has called me and so to believe in Him for greater things. He is giving me new strength in Him!

Praise the Lord!

yeah, I couldn't resist...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gymboree Valentines Day 2012 - Mr. Irresistible Double Sleeve Tee
And I'm thinkin' that Kai Kai is going to look super-cute in this shirt!

Happy Red, White and Blue!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It seemed like an unusual fourth of July celebration in Colorado. Because of all of the fires, there was a ban on fireworks and it was surprising to me how much I associate this holiday with the typical sights and sounds of firecrackers and fireworks.

When I was a child, my dad ran a fireworks stand and we always worked at the stand (I made a dollar an hour bagging fireworks and adding the right amount of punks to the bag). We always had TONS of fireworks and we loved to blow up little mounds of dirt and throw bottle rockets through the air. Yikes! Its a wonder that no one blew a hand off. The worst that ever happened was a hole in the kitchen linoleum. My sister, Stephanie, made me stand on it while she ran upstairs to get a brown permanent marker. We thought that we had my mom fooled, but years later she informed us that she chose not to make an issue of it, but always noticed that hole in the linoleum when she washed the floor.

We had to satisfy ourselves with this cute little site, which the kids really enjoyed.

We did have a fun family day. I took the four older kids swimming with Meredith and her boys. That was super-fun. Then, our whole family went out for burritos. We came home and David and Adam set up the badmitton net.

Grace and I watched most of the time. Grace is doing great, but we're trying not to over-tire her. Just today, we saw a few little spots on her legs, which may confirm the HSP diagnosis. We'd be glad to have a definite answer about what has been ailing our little girl. 

Adam made a few trips up the tree to retrieve birdies.

For dinner-time desert, we were able to have our traditional United States jello mold. The kids love picking out their favorite states to eat!

 This year, it came complete with sprinkles from the Logue family.

Sometimes, I know that I take for granted the freedom that we have in this country. But, I am reminded today of the sacrifices that so many have made for this freedom. Thank you so much to all of you who have served our country, who have spouses who serve our country, or who have children who serve our country. I appreciate each one of you!!!

good things...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lots of good things happening today:

-Grace is eating popsicles and keeping them down!
-Grace had a tiny bit of gluten-free cereal and it didn't hurt her stomach too badly.
-Grace was awake for 5 hours this morning (I think that she slept about 20 hours yesterday, and while this was good for her body, it's a little disconcerting to have your child be that tired).
-Although they are making her quite mmmm...shall we say...moody, the steroids seem to be helping.
-We have such an incredible doctor, who keeps calling and checking up on our girl.
-Adam played the Tea Party game with Grace and she had fun playing it. He also entertained her with puppet shows.
-This allowed me to get together all of our adoption paperwork for the courier to take to the Chinese consulate (DTC is getting close!).
-We didn't forget about Yana's art class (ummm...yeah, we forgot it last week).
-Lily started her own blog. It will be private in a week or so, but you can take a peek for a few more days. She'd love it if you'd leave her a comment!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our cutie-girl made it through yesterday with only five phone calls to the doctor and two trips out to get additional medication (no trips to the hospital...yeah!).

This morning, our doctor had rounds at the hospital and asked us to bring Grace there, so that he could take a look at her (how nice is that for a Sunday morning?!). We met in the lobby and he very tentatively told us that he thinks she has henoch schonlein purpura. I say tentatively, because he just doesn't know for sure. She doesn't have the classic rash that goes along with it, but he strongly suggested that we put her on steroids as if she indeed does have henoch schonlein purpura. He said that if she does have this, she should start to feel better today and would be feeling quite a bit better tomorrow....yeah!

Sooooo...we're trying it, because if our little sweetheart doesn't keep down some liquids today she will need to go back to the hospital for an IV.

I cannot even tell you how thankful we are for all of your prayers for Grace. I really have peace that she will be absolutely fine, and I'm sure that comes as a result of all of your prayers. Thank you so much, dear friends. You are such treasures!

Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger