Friday, September 28, 2012

Kayden Faith ~ 8 Years Ago!

I remember the day like it was yesterday!  8 years ago, during the Moon Festival, we held you for the first time.
You were a tiny Treasure.
You have blossomed into a beautiful young lady, and you have blessed us more than we could imagine!

Happy 8th Gotcha Day, precious Daughter!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Clean Sweep!

 If it's not tied down, it's outa here!  We are having a clean sweep...
...for a garage sale!
We checked our October, and there was only one weekend available - next weekend, October 5 and 6!  It's kinda quick, but I usually work better under pressure anyway.

Thing is, we don't have a lot of 'stuff' because around here if it doesn't get used regularly it gets passed on.

But I imagine there are things hiding in each room and the attic that need to go.

We are also asking local friends if you have stuff you'd like to get rid of we are willing to pick it up before next Thursday, October 4 when we will be moving everything to our amazing-past-garage-sale-location, thanks to B and D!!!

This weekend is packed.  We will have the fresh mums available and hope to sell out by Monday.  Then next week is devoted to purging our junk.

It could easily become overwhelming...but then I remember WHY.  There is a precious little girl halfway around the world who desperately needs to come home.  Once home she will need immediate evaluation for health issues that we are not ready to share. 

Khloie has two medical special needs: one seems minor and may be a non-issue; the other is a bit of a mystery and something we are totally unfamiliar with.  But the Father knows!  He is the Healer, and He is our Provision!

We completely trust Him in every aspect of this journey to our girl, and when we said YES, we all knew it would be a journey of surrender and faith.  We are committed to do our part.  We hope to complete this process without further debt.  Truth is, we still have $18,700 debt from a few previous adoption processes.  It wasn't that we rushed out and borrowed the money in a panic; it was that we were ready to travel, and having held every fundraiser we could think of, we didn't feel that we could ask for any more help.

And that's ok.  It was part of the ransom to get our Treasures home.  We keep praying that God will bring a bountiful corn harvest that will cover it ALL!  And He can do that!

In the meantime, we will continue with the task at hand, doing what He has called us to do ~ work hard to get our girl home.

Rest will come later...

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. ~Jesus~
John 15:16

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Love the New Tee!

Look at this new tee added to the Wild Olive Tees adoption fundraiser lineup!

All Things: For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

Our fundraiser at Wild Olive Tees is still going on, and y'all, there are over 30 gorgeous tees to choose from! In order for our family to receive credit, you must purchase a tee included in the Adoption Fundraiser lineup, and when checking out, please use our code: JOHNSON704.

So far we've sold 27 tees.  I wonder if we could get to 50...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Drumroll, please...

Wait for it...
First I want to THANK each of you who encouraged, prayed, shared and gave!  You have deposited into the life of our beautiful Treasure.
We are so humbled and grateful, and we pray that God blesses you many times over.
We prayed over each of your names before we drew tonight, praising the Father for His goodness and praying His blessings over you.
I am excited to announce the winner of the hp Pavilion g7 is
This sweet friend gives so much to others!  Just check out her blog and see what she and Anthony are up to now!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

There's Still Time!

We draw for the hp Pavilion g7 tomorrow ~ Monday, September 24!!!
The ChipIn ends around 11 am CST, but we will draw tomorrow night.
$25 = 1 shot
$50 = 3 shots
1 FB or blog post = 1 additional shot
Thank you to those who have already given!
We are so humbled and grateful for every penny to help bring our Treasure home!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sports Mom

I'm into pole vaulting, long jumping, the 50 M dash, gymnastics - oh wait, that's just a day around the house.
'Tis the season of softball and football!
I love watching my teens play.
Truth is, I don't make nearly all the softball games.
My gear is atypical.  I've got a double stroller, animal crackers, sippy cups and blankies.  I'm that mom who makes 50 trips to the restroom.  I've even got an awesome camera to capture those Kodak moments...but no hands to use it.  Ah well.

My smarty-pants 9-year-old, standing beside me, just asked, "Why do we need to know this?"
Um, we don't.
But anything else I have to blog about right now is deeper than I care to think about at the moment.

Anyhoo, our softball girls start district playoffs today, and I'm gonna be there!
And I can't wait.
But I've gotta get back in time to finish the meal for the football team tonight.  I love to cook.  Although the people living in my house might wonder about that statement these days...
These busy days we're enjoying wolfing down a lot of sandwiches.  All in the spirit of the sports season of course!

Tomorrow night we'll all be at the football game watching Kolton's team rough it up.  It'll be a bonus night because Kinley's pom team will perform at halftime, and then we'll be hosting the 5th quarter. 
Maybe someday I will be the awesome sports mom I'd like to be - nah, probably not.
I gotta admit, it's really funny when Kasidi starts singing, "Win the battle, win win the battle..."
Totally worth it!
And that is the end of this totally random post.
Go, #2!!!
and #25!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

HP Pavilion g7 Drawing in 1 week!

One week from today (September 24) we will draw for this baby: help bring this baby home!!! Isn't she darling?!?

Answered prayer: today we walked into CIS and were fingerprinted early!!!!
I'm 99% sure my prints are still not readable, but we think that's an issue easily resolved.
Hopefully we will have approval in hand shortly and our dossier will be on its way to China!!!
Here are the details of our HP Pavilion g7
It runs from September 10 to September 24 at
approximately 11 AM central time.
$25 gets you 1 shot
$50 gets you 3 shots
A blog or FB post gets you an additional
You may use the Chip-In on the side bar or
me for other options.
May you be blessed and may God be

Her New Name

Survey says...
You like the name KHLOIE!
And we had already chosen that name too!
Thank you for all the beautiful suggestions. We are still praying about a middle name.
And speaking of prayer, we are on our way to CIS this morning to attempt early fingerprinting and we would treasure your prayers that they would allow it, and that my prints are readable this time.
Have a blessed Monday!!!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Step Closer...

We received our appointment notice for biometric prints yesterday!

We are going to appear early, just in case they will allow us to get them done ahead of schedule. And if they refuse, then worst case scenario, hubs and I get a lunch date!

CIS approval is all we lack for our dossier to be complete - yippee!!!!

Can I ask for your prayers?

We need to stop and rest in the Lord for His provision. This is the scariest part of the paper journey for us, the funds.

It feels like we've been trying to step out ahead of Him and do things our own way.

We need clarity as to His direction.
Thank you for praying for our Treasure and our family!

He went out, not knowing where He was going.
Heb 11:8

"Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. it is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason - a life of knowing Him who calls us to go.
~Oswald Chambers~

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trauma, Part II ~ What is Trauma?

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring
you…a dose of reality.

First I want to thank each of you who had the courage to leave a comment or email, asking me to pray for your family, offering to pray for my family and telling me your story. You are such an encouragement! We are not alone!

  • So, what is trauma?
    Automobile accident
    Physical abuse
    Emotional abuse
    Sexual abuse
    Depressed parental care
    Pre and perinatal birth trauma
    Loss of caregiver
    Prolonged experiences of unmet needs
    Domestic violence
    Medical trauma
    Foster care
    Frequent moves
    Unstable or unsafe environment
    Experiencing or witnessing horrific injury or death of

*This list is not all-inclusive*

I realize I’m possibly in the minority of slow learners,
but quite frankly, this surprises me! I’ve
generally thought of a traumatic event as being a physical act. It truly opens my heart and mind to
understand trauma more clearly!

And of this long list, the fact that my child has experienced
many of them totally changes things for me!
I need to learn a new way of parenting.
Because many of our children have never been taught cause/effect thinking, but rather have lived in a state of ‘survival mode,’ the common forms of discipline for inappropriate behavior simply will not be effective.

Many of our children express anger or rage in times of
overwhelm and stress. We may think this is the root of the problem: they are deeply angry. In fact, the anger and frustration are manifestations of the true emotion: fear.
More on that in the next post.

I’m keeping this short and sweet because I some of us may
need to simply absorb this information before moving on.

And now to revive that happy place within us, let’s run to
the secret chocolate stash (because if we’ve been dealing with this for any length of time, we all have one), call the one friend who doesn’t think we’re making this up, or curl up in a fetal position in a corner.

After all, those would be typical fear responses for us bigger people, right?!?

Monday, September 10, 2012

HP Pavilion g7 Laptop!

I want one of these.
Oh, yes I do!
I only do fundraisers with items I would like for myself.
I know tastes vary...but could you use one of these for $25?
Yep, $25 gets you a shot at this beauty with these features:
AMD Dual Core A4-3300M 2.5GHz, 6GB, 500GB, 17.3" High
Definition+ HP BrightView LED, Blu-Ray Drive, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

While we wait for our biometric fingerprint appointment and approval from immigration, the rest of our dossier is being processed. We are moving forward to our daughter, which is awesome! But it also means more fees.
It is so humbling to constantly hold fundraisers.
I wish it weren't absolutely necessary.
But we approach them with expectation - the expectation that God will provide ALL we need in His time! We don't expect anything more or less.
And we approach them with humble thanksgiving for every person He calls to pray, share and give, investing in the life of our daughter who will soon be an orphan no more!
Here are the details of our HP Pavilion g7 fundraiser:
It runs from September 10 to September 24 at approximately 11 AM central time.
$25 gets you 1 shot
$50 gets you 3 shots
A blog or FB post gets you an additional shot
You may use the Chip-In on the side bar or email me for other options.
May you be blessed and may God be glorified!

The Name Game ~ updated

*update below*
We are still undecided on the best name for our waiting Treasure. We chose Kimmie because we pray for her daily and wanted to call her by name.
We're still trying to decide what her new name will be. Just for fun, you can vote for her name!
If you have any awesome 6-letter K name ideas, please share!

Thank you all so much for your awesome suggestions! I'm loving them!
Of course I love Kenzie, Kennah and Kinley because we've already used those names :)
I absolutely love the name Kelsey...but I have a beautiful niece with that name. She has granted me permission to use the name, but I just can't do that to Grandma. You're welcome, Mom :)
I've added two more names to the poll. Kimmie and Kinidi were tied. I'm still open to suggestions...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trauma, Part I

“How many times have I told you not to yell at your brothers
and sisters?”

“How can you remember this and not that?”

“How can you wake up one morning happy and the next morning mad?”

“Are you 2 or 20?”

Have you ever asked yourself these questions regarding your
child? Because, of course, none of us
would say them out loud…

If you’re the parent of a child from hard places, you may
have already read Jen Hatmaker’s post,
“The Truth about Adoption: One Year Later.” If you haven’t, I would encourage you to read it. I found it relevant, humorous and real.

I wish I could say that we experienced the same level of
healing at 8 to 12 months home, but we are still in the healing process at nearly 3 years post placement. Progress is evident, but I liken it to pushing a broken egg up the side of a glass bowl
with a fork. While we are making forward progress, there is much substance left behind – 1 step forward, 2 steps back. I am hopeful we will reach the top of the bowl, but I wonder how much gunk will settle in the bottom, only to surface in an unforeseeable moment of change.

I’ve asked myself many times why I feel compelled to post
about trauma. It’s not to educate because I’m not an authority. I’m a mom whose only professional credentials do not include recognizing or treating children affected by trauma. And the
mere fact that I’m living it doesn’t make me a professional; it only makes me a traumatized mom:)

I’ve also found that, generally speaking, those not directly
affected do not wish to be educated on the matter. Admittedly, it’s much easier to take the daily or limited interactions with the child at face value. Many don’t realize they are seeing the “I’m-coping-with-this-overwhelming-environment-by-acting-silly
kiddo. Or the kid who subconsciously doesn’t trust anyone and can’t engage in relationships beyond surface level. They don’t understand the child who responds out of fear and overwhelm. They may not witness the behavior that mimics bi-polar disorder.

Now that I’ve established that I’m not writing to educate, why am I writing this?

1) This will serve as a memorialization to mark
where we’ve been, how far we’ve come and eventually to reflect on how God has redeemed us. May He be glorified!

2) To educate myself. I need to understand the root of my child’s responses, and learn practical ways to change my reaction and lovingly guide him through the healing process.

3) To encourage other parents walking this lonely
path. You are not alone!

You see, I’ve been that parent who has longed to return to
the ‘waiting’ phase of the journey where I fell in love with a child on paper and couldn’t wait to bring him into the safety of our home, surrounded by siblings who were crazy about him and opportunities that were endless. No amount of reading could have prepared me for the child who rejected his family and viewed opportunity as another chance to fail.

I’ve been the parent who looked at the calendar and realized
five days have passed and I haven’t left the house...or planned a meal beyond ramen noodles…or covered my grey (eek!)…or answered the phone…or responded to emails…

I’ve been the parent who’s sat on the floor for hours, through
tears and sweat, trying to comfort my hysterical child who desperately wants to trust but is afraid because he’s not yet experienced a ‘happy ending,’ and flinches at the attempted comforting hugs because to him, touch equals pain.

I’ve been the parent desperately seeking resources offering
practical help, or at least affirmation that our family is not doomed and our other children will not grow up miserable, resentful or institutionalized because of the trauma we introduced into our once serene home.

I’ve been the parent questioning my ability to rear a child,
wondering if I’m setting safe boundaries or simply exercising control.

I’ve been the parent left in a stupor, wondering what
happened in the split second between the silliness and the sudden rage.

I’ve been the parent who’s spent days searching blogs for
signs that we are not the only family whose front door seems to have the invisible greeting, “Welcome to h*ll.”

I’ve been that parent, and I’m learning to be a better parent, to all my children. I’m far from there, but each day is a new opportunity for me to run the race. I’m thankful for the little
things, like the fact that every day will eventually end and sleep will come, a new shirt can make me feel great, an old verse can bring new perspective, a caffeinated beverage can change everything. Well, not everything, but you get the idea.

Change is occurring. We’ve come a long way. We’ve had to make some not-so-popular choices. But helping our traumatized
child become an adult is not about momentary popularity. It’s going to be a lifelong journey. It requires daily prioritizing and
remembering the goal. It requires change on our part. It requires a change in vocabulary. We’ve ousted the elusive term ‘normal.’

We are seeing trust blossom ever so slowly. We have begun
counseling in a non-traditional way, and it is probably the single most beneficial tool yet!

As I embark on this journey of discovering the effects of
trauma (an experience that produces psychological injury or pain) and the many ways it manifests itself, I will pray for guidance in sharing.

May we all find hope and encouragement, and most of all, may He be glorified.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What New Thing?

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isa 43:18-19

I love this passage!
It is so relevant.
I've been pondering a post on the effects of trauma, specifically repeated trauma in adopted/fostered children.
The effects can be devastating, lifelong, can bring hopelessness, brokenness and despair.
But then as I read God's Word, I gain perspective.
I am reminded that I should not look back and dwell on the past, especially when I know that God has unimaginably good things ahead.
As I enter a season of prayer, I am wondering if I can also pray for you.
Prayer changes people, and people change things!
It would be my privilege to lift your requests to the Lord.
If you would allow me to do so, please leave a comment or email me, and know that I will be faithful to intercede for you.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

And the Pendant Goes to...

Casey and Carra! (please send me your contact information)
Thank you to everyone who shared! Stacy's fundraiser is still going on.
Have a blessed busy weekend!

The Winner!

Congratulations, Crystal R! You won the kindle fire!!!!!

Thank you to everyone who gave to help bring Kimmie home!!!

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