Thursday, April 16, 2015

Buy a Tee; Make a Deposit

My friend Gayly has received TA for her little man!  That means she'll be traveling very soon to bring him home, but her family can use our help.  They are still selling these awesome t-shirts.  Check them out on Gayly's blog!

I'm pasting her full blog post here so you can see the shirts.  We can help a family and get a cool tee to boot!

We are selling shirts to help cover upcoming costs. Currently, I have a supply of everything listed below.  They are already printed  and ready to ship to your door step immediately! If more are ordered than we have of the regular t-shirt styles, I will order more and let you know that I am waiting on printing. 

ALL pricing includes shipping.
You can order here with Paypal or if you want to email me at (if you are local or want to pay another way.) 
Thank you!

Boys "DEFEND" t-shirts, $20 

The back reads, 
"Learn to do good. Seek justice: help the oppressed, defend the orphan, please for the widow." ~Isaiah 1:17



Girls "DEFEND" t-shirts, $20

 The back reads, "Learn to do good. Seek justice: help the oppressed, defend the orphan, please for the widow." ~Isaiah 1:17 


Adult & Youth LOVE t-shirts, $18 

"Do everything in LOVE" 1 Corinthians 16:14


 Women's LOVE- fitted 3/4 Sleeve t-shirt (brand), $25

"Do everything in LOVE" 1 Corinthians  16:14


Thursday, April 9, 2015

One Month!

It's hard to believe that one month ago today we held Kohlby for the very first time!

I didn't even see the gal walk in with him because I was watching the other 25 families receive their babies.

In one month, this little man has experienced a whole lot of FAMILY, and come so far.
He celebrated his first Resurrection Sunday!
(Well, he might not have understood the significance)

He's taken possession of a car.
He's gotten into construction.
He's taken long, windy walks.
He's begged to stay outside.
And he's watched a lot of softball.
And we've had our first post-placement visit.
But most of all, he has transitioned into the family incredibly well!  He still prefers to have Mama to himself, but he's much more tolerant than before.  He and Khloie play hard all day long...until it's time for their 2 1/2 hour nap.

Some of the typical two-year-old-boy behaviors have gotten less extreme, thank You, Jesus!

Kohlby was described as "active," and that is putting it mildly.  From the minute he wakes to the minute he crashes he lives life in high gear.

He still allows me to give him a bottle and to feed him.  I've just learned to give him bigger bites :)  

We've just requested his medical records from the New Hope Foundation so we'll have a base line before we see any specialists.  

Kohlby can say, "Mama, Dada, hot, uh-oh, bye-bye, night-night and hi," as well as lots of cute toddler gibberish.  I'm amazed at his transition.

I've had to set my alarm a little earlier just to get my quiet time in, but so far I've had the energy to do it.  I feel great, and so does he!

This post would typically take 10 minutes, but I've spent over an hour with multiple I'm out.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Adopting a Child with HIE

I was blessed to write a guest post on HIE for No Hands But Ours!  You can read the full article here

Two of  our treasures are affected by Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, and it's my desire to get the word out that these children must not be passed over!

No Hands But Ours is an informational and advocating website that may help answer questions if you are considering adopting a child with medical special needs.  There are not only resources, but also stories of families sharing the daily joys of their children with special needs.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Lie

Sometimes I see things that leave me speechless.
And breathless.
And wondering.
And heartbroken.
And shaken.
And changed.
At least for a time.
And then I venture back into my comfy life, and it's almost as if I never left it.

I see orphanages full of children.

They seem happy enough.  And a week later I believe the lie that they are.  Except...
 ....this time is different.  I asked if any of these children had families committed to them, thinking I would take a photo to send to the waiting mommy and daddy.  The response:  "Some of them are 'stolen.'"  What?  They were taken from their families and have been recovered, but the families haven't been located yet.

We know it's real.  
Now an orphanage is a haven for recovered children?
I am thankful for this orphanage, and I'm even more thankful that children have been reclaimed.  I pray they are reunited with their families!

Church, what will we do?
About oppression?
About orphans?
Some think we need to 'take care of our own'.
Great!  What are you doing to 'take care of our own'?
I'm not suggesting that children on another continent are any more important to the Father than others.  Not at all!
But really, are we just too busy or too lazy to take care of anyone but ourselves?
We believe the lie that we are:
*too busy
*too poor
*too limited 
*too old
*too young
*too ______ 
*the problem is too big

And it's not just orphan care.  Maybe it's your neighbor.  The widow down the road.  The single parent.  The veteran.  The impoverished.  The differently abled.  The addicted.  The imprisoned.

Perhaps the biggest lie we can believe is that this life is about US!

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  
Ephesians 2:10

Sunday, March 29, 2015

One Week Home!

Oh, how times flies this side of the journey!

Just gonna' say, if I had my way we would never leave least for a few weeks.  But LIFE.  It happens.  Dental appointments schedule pre-travel, softball games, necessary desperate grocery runs.  They happen.
Fortunately, I have the energy to do all that's necessary, thanks to the magic milk bottle that may or may not contain melatonin :)  Thank YOU for the encouragement and prayers!  We really are doing so well!

You can't take the two-year-old outa the boy, but you can work hard to encourage the two-year-old boy to express himself without fits.  We are almost there.  Seriously.  Almost there!  In fact, we are planning to attend church next Sunday!

We've been cocooning as much as possible, and while the rest of the family attends worship the last two Sundays, Kohlby and I have stayed home to solidify the bond.  He loves it!  He still struggles sharing Mama with his siblings, but every day is better.  This week I'm going to try to build in some individual time with each of them as well.

I don't have many pictures because my hands are mostly full.  If I'm not carrying Kohlby or picking up Khloie, Kasidi, or Kennah for a quick hug, I'm toting laundry baskets.  Or cooking.  

Speaking of meal time, I'm seeking a way to make it run more smoothly.  I should have this...but I just don't.  Our current method is that everyone sits and we serve them so there aren't 14 people running around the kitchen.  When they are ready for seconds, we get them.  So there aren't 14 people running around the kitchen.  When everyone is excused, they rinse their plate, or throw it away when we use paper, and go on their merry way.  But we still have such a mess.  What do you do?

But enough of the mundane.  What about Kohlby?  He is fiercely possessive of his mama.  He's pretty cool with his daddy because his daddy is fun.  He has a special bond with Kenzie and Kayden, but also loves for Kambry to treat him like a prince of a brother.  He's crazy for Kaeleb and all the Legos he's got to offer.  He really likes Kinley's silliness.  He's growing on the people-who-are-much-too-close-to-his-size, Kennah, Kasidi and Khloie.  He loves playing with Kolton, but mostly I'm pretty sure he's flirting with Allie!

There isn't a button he wouldn't risk his life to push.  He once was terrified of our kid-friendly Great Pyrenees, but his love for the outdoors has diminished his fear some.  He doesn't mind the car seat or the stroller, and he loves the Ergo.  Dream come true, eh?

He reluctantly allows me to brush his teeth, but a week ago he clenched his teeth, so that's progress.  There are so many things I take for granted until I experience the other side of them.  

May this week be glorious as we focus on our Savior!

Monday, March 23, 2015

His Clock's Tickin' China Time

I'm going to share a little secret, and then you'll have no sympathy for me whatsoever.  My kids have been rockstars about sleep transition after travel.  With the exception of one who had night terrors for six months, bless her, they've all slept through the night from the get-go.  Until now.

We've only been home three days so I realize I need to give it time, but it's getting worse.  We landed in bed at 3:30 am Friday and slept till noon, no problem!  All of us.  Friday night, little dude woke up at midnight, guzzled a bottle, and tossed and turned till 2.  That's doable.  

Saturday night, he woke up at 2, downed a bottle and tossed and turned till 5.  Last night he woke up at midnight and tossed and turned till 4:55.  Not cool.  My alarm rings at 5.

Around these parts when the alarms rings, we hit the ground with both feet and all hands on deck.  I don't know how that will play out today.

I'm desperate for suggestions to help Mr. Cool sleep!  And I'm not beyond medication, people.  When he doesn't sleep, I don't sleep.  He goes to his crib until he wakes for a bottle, and then we're co-sleeping.  But my littlest rockstar is like the Energizer bunny...on steroids.  He can be perfectly still for all of 2.2 nanoseconds, and then he's rolling around, kicking his legs and reaching to hold my hand.  He has to have my hand over his.  Sweet, huh?  It really is.  But he is so tired.  He's really awesome about not sitting up and playing.  I can tell he's frustrated though.  

So, what would you do?  And please don't say skip the nap because I've been letting him nap less than an hour.  And we've been staying up till between 9 and 10, which is so past my bedtime!

We all thank you for your words of wisdom :) 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Goodbye, China; Hello, Home!

We are home and fully on China time. Not at all productive but very glad to be here.  Traveling soon?  We highly recommend Tekila and just around the corner, Lemon House!  Try the Chicken breast with lemongrass breading - delicious!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


We are leaving the hotel!  Kohlby doesn't handle being confined in a taxi so the flights may be interesting. Thank you for praying us home!!  It's been an amazing journey!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Here's a Glimpse

I have so many thoughts swirling through my overwhelmed brain as we prepare to receive Kolhby's visa this afternoon and pack for the trip home.  But I'm up for a more lighthearted post, so I will share a few of the 200+ shots of Kenzie's photo shoot.

*disclaimer: I am not a professional, but I sure did have fun.*

 Today we plan to visit the Island one last time, pick up the visa this afternoon and then pack for HOME!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Day at Shamian Island

We had the entire day!
We've seen very little of the sun since we've arrived, and today was no different, but we needed to get senior pictures taken.  So much for natural light.  We started with shots at the hotel, and then headed to the Island.

Like a little slice of home.

Lunch at Lucy's with our favorite iced tea.

A little fun before the serious photo session began.

 Families, look at the White Swan!  It's not complete yet...
And I took over 100 shots of this girl.  It was a blast!!!

The girls have promised me they will post today :)  Sisters Point of View

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