Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Eve Surprise!

We were surprised at our Christmas Eve service when a friend of ours sang Third Day's 'Merry Christmas.' Of course, he changed "girl" to "boy" and I cried uncontrollably like any hormonal, expectant mom! I am so sad when I think of my baby boy all alone halfway around the world, especially at Christmastime. I have to find peace in knowing that soon he'll be where he belongs ~ home with Mommy and Daddy (and five siblings). Come to think of it, it's probably more chaotic here at home than where he's at! Even though this is the fourth Christmas we've spent "waiting," I can't say that I'm used to it or that I've gained any more patience. But certainly I have learned to trust in the One whose timing is perfect, always! Here are the lyrics to the song, which we also used on Kaeleb's "announcement" video earlier on the blog. I love this song, not only for the message of physical adoption, but also for the true reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus' birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection, allowing us to be adopted into His family and not left as orphans. Thank you, DH, for singing this beautiful song and allowing me to picture the moment I will finally hold my son.
There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are
But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas
As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow
But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas
Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
and we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life and prepare a place for us
so we could have a home with him above
It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep,
I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart,
I wish you Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

To our friends and family, near and far, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you find special meaning and abundant blessing this Christmas season, and may God bless your 2008! The Johnsons.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Too busy to watch out, cry, or pout ...

... even though Santa Claus is comin' to town - next week - yikes! Here's a rundown of December so far...

Look at those adorable pre-K kiddos! They are darling in their first school Christmas program.

Kayden and her "Abby"
Some of the clan tries to sled in the first snow/ice. And Kayden insists she'll be warmer with her favorite "dress-up" dress as the top layer :)

And some just get to dress up as if they're going sledding!

With the cold weather, we get to try new soups ~ this one was a hit!

We've enjoyed on-line games like Elf Yourself at and making our own snowflakes at Baby sister is a real help!
Mommy always needs good "help" in the kitchen, and Kayden is willing! 2 sheetcakes in 1 week means 4 bowls to lick clean!

The finished product ~ yum!

Of course, we must bake our traditional frosted sugar cookies!

Found this cutie in the kitchen!

We hosted 20 or so of our awesome youth for a Christmas party. We had a little bit of food ...

... and an interesting gift exchange.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


This is an adoption awareness video. Get your Kleenex and be blessed!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Some of our friends have asked us to share our adoption testimony, especially regarding "finding" Kaeleb. Since this is his blog, I thought that would be appropriate :) You can find Mommy's abbreviated version in the lower right of the side bar. Blessings!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Poem by a "Pondering" Mommy

I want to share this beautiful poem written by an adoptive mommy who, in the quietest moments, listens to her heart. It expresses so much of what we felt before we surrendered to God's call to adopt when we had nothing but our faith to proceed.

Heart Vs. Head
I watch her chest rise and fall
Sweet peace and sleep drift over her
Dark hair peeking from under the blanket
She's finally here and my heart has never known
Such love...yet...
Something whispers softly in the wind
Another small one...far away...
Soft, rhythmic breaths from a palate or crib
Arms and eyes that wait for a forever Mom
Ridiculous! My head says...No time...No money...No way!!
Three small ones under the age of five...
Mama...mama...mama...all day.
Chaos reigns in our house...Side by side with joy.
Rapturous! My heart says...The feeling of that little hand in yours...
With each beat it tells me
You can do "all things" when loveLights the way.

Another "waiting" Christmas

This is the 4th Christmas we have spent waiting on our child to come home. The first "waiting" Christmas was 2003 which turned out to be a shorter time frame than expected. We were so blessed to bring Kayden home in October 2004. Since we're not getting any younger, and the Lord's call was unmistakeable, 6 months later we began the paperchase again, expecting another 6 month wait. Our plans were again proven inferior to the Master Planner as we waited through Christmas 2005 and 2006, receiving our referral on February 1, 2007, and bringing Kambry home in April. Four months later, in August, we found our precious son, Kaeleb, and will spend yet another Christmas waiting. Aside from Jesus, I can't imagine a better Christmas gift. Thank you, Lord, for the children who are home this Christmas and for those still waiting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Dad and Mom had a rare lunch date today, and this is what our fortune cookie said. Can someone please tell me, what does "oversleep" mean?????

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's official!

Fu Jun is officially Kambry Hope follwing our refinalization hearing this month!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kambry's Gotcha Video

Finally, after 7 months home, we've made Kambry's Gotcha video. Thank you, Kuyler! Please turn off the music at the bottom of this page before starting video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And there's more ...

These pictures of our sweet boy were taken last week by a mommy receiving her precious daughter. Thank you "M" for blessing us!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Doing the Happy Dance here! We just found out our dossier was logged in with CCAA on November 12. Let the countdown begin ...

Currently it's taking 90 to 120 days from LID to LOA (Letter of Acceptance). That's around the first of March.

What I am thankful for:

Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior

My husband

My children

My parents, brothers and sisters Johnson and Darnell

My dear friends

My church family

My country and its freedoms

Birth mothers

Good health

The things I take for granted

The trials that have brought me closer to the Lord

That His plans are far greater than my own

"...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

1 Thes. 5:18
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Oklahoma!

Our town celebrated Oklahoma's Centennial in a big way yesterday with events planned all day long. Our football team also won 2nd round playoffs and advanced to semi-finals next weekend ~ go Big Red!

10:30 a.m., ready for the party! 12:30 p.m., too much party :)

6:30 p.m., in awe of the fireworks

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yep, that's me, the real deal, nothing super, nothing special. Just the sleep-deprived, older mommy who is blessed beyond my wildest imagination. There's a lot going on in the world of adoption right now, and it causes me to reflect, and reflection causes me to share my heart. With the seemingly never-ending referral wait in the China program, the rigorous regulations, the closing of some IA programs and the corruption in others, I stand in awe that I have been so blessed. Four years ago God instantaneously and miraculously invited Clayton and I to join Him where His heart is at: adoption. We were totally clueless about the process, the cost, the heartache and the extent of the blessings! We proceeded on blind faith, only pausing occasionally when our own doubts and weaknesses crept in. In one weak moment I asked myself many questions, questions which I now realize may be typical, but have proven totally irrelevant! I wondered if I could love a child not born of myself, a child that didn't "look like" me, how I would survive not knowing his/her exact birth date, the circumstances of his/her "fatherless" state, his/her biology, siblings or not ... and on and on. These are all questions worth pondering but can also be traps of the enemy, lies he wants us to buy into, tapping into our own weaknesses and fears rather than relying on the strength of God Almighty.
My four year old daughter knows she is a victor, not a victim, but only because of Jesus! If you have a minute, she'll tell you all about Him :) I'm not so naive to think my children won't someday have questions about their birth family or find themselves wondering who they are and how they fit in. I can't fabricate the missing pieces, and just as I have learned to accept them, perhaps they too will find some comfort in knowing I am their "real" mommy and they are "real" siblings because they have been adopted by their "real" Heavenly Father. And that is my charge: to love, nurture, provide for and guide them. I take that very seriously. The rest is icing on the cake!
I've been kissing boo-boos, potty training, soothing after countless night terrors, teaching to tie shoes, praying for and with, and loving on my beautiful kiddos for 19 years now, so if you ask me if they are "real brothers and sisters," or I'm their "real mommy," I'll say a resounding, "Yes!" Additionally, three of them have birth parents I pray for. And to those birth parents, I say, "Thank you for choosing life and giving me the privilege of being their forever Mommy."
To think that God would give our family this short four-year time span to add three beautiful children to our family is amazing to me. Thank you, God!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Random ramblings

How could I not start with that picture! This is Kambry's true personality. What a week we've had. My kitchen counter looks like a medicine cabinet with a variety of liquids and chewables for various ages and symptoms.
Three "K"s left on the bus,
but the teacher called and said, "Kolton's still contagious."

Maybe next week we'll be healthy. Did I mention my dryer went out 3 days ago (yeah, no laundry!). Daddy's made several trips to get parts, none of which have healed it. So, Santa, if you're reading this, I want the largest capacity washer and dryer there is, but I need it now :)

Despite sickness we've had a lot going on this week. I finally finished Kuyler's senior scrapbook, now that he's halfway through his first semester of college.

We celebrated Kolton's 12th birthday, even though he was sick. Happy Birthday, my bighearted boy!

We finally received the FedEx package containing our PA and Kaeleb's original referral docs and pictures! Now that we have his Chinese name in print I taped it to some of the items in his care package and sent it! Poor FedEx guy didn't know he would be stalked by the crazy lady with the camera :) Care packageHave a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

So, about the time change ...

Don't get me wrong, sleep is my LONG LOST friend, and I am an early riser ... but since the time change I have 2 little girls up and running at 6 a.m.! So much for my other long lost friends, quiet and solitude :) We had a great weekend hosting a family gathering. The kids enjoyed their cousins, and we all enjoyed fellowship and food.

My 3 beautiful girls before Kenzie's singing performance at the Charity Concert.

What can I get into next??? It's my first Halloween and what on Earth has my mom got on me? Charming!
Now if only we could rid our home of the virus that keeps rearing its ugly head ... for 3 weeks now! Somebody needs ibuprofen every 6 hours for fever, somebody needs a trash can close by for the upset tummy, and so on... but life goes on.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It came today! Basically PA (pre-approval) is CCAA officially matching us with our precious son. They recoginze our petition to adopt him, and based on the information contained in our LOI, they agree that we can proceed.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Celebrate, good times!

We opted out of the football game to celebrate our DTC status and here's the result ...I'm so dainty ...

... or not!
I'm not sure what we celebrated, but it was a good plan!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

DTC! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more We just received word that our dossier is authenticated and on its way to China. We are officially DTC (dossier to China)! Now we wait for an LID (log in date), which can take anywhere from 5 to 30 days. Our LID determines when our official countdown begins.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psa 40:1


Imagine our surprise as we walked into church as usual last night and waiting for us was the kaddy of my dreams! It's a double jogging stroller from Kidz Kargo. Now Kambry and Kaeleb can ride in style, and Mom can get some exercise. I had put my name on a "wish list" for a second hand stroller at Children's Orchard, thrilled at the prospect of getting one for a decent price, when apparently my plotting friends made other plans :) And I have to share the touching words in the card ...
"Believing with you ~ in the wisdom of His ways, in the goodness of His love, and in the assurance of His presence as He keeps you every step of the way."
Those words speak volumes to me as I realize we are not on this journey alone. Anyone who has been down the path of adoption knows the journey is unpredictable, challenging, emotional and draining in many respects. I praise the Lord for so many friends who "get it" and are willing to hold our hands as we walk through the fire, ready to embrace us on the other side. If you are an adoptive parent, whether waiting or blessed to have completed the journey, I give you my biggest cyber hug ! And if you know someone who is riding the adoption roller coaster, please give them a hug today! Thank you, dear friends, for blessing our family in so many ways. May you be blessed in return.
..."I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Mat 25:40

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Trash or treasure?

Oh, the treasures in our trash! Mom's secret is out ... the key to getting over that midday slump ~ Diet Mountain Dew!
If I do this ...
... then I can do this!
And speaking of treasures, Kambry has learned to give kisses. It's adorable! Pucker up, Sis!
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psa 34:4

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