Monday, November 24, 2014

And She's 5!

I must've blinked!
There's no way Kasidi Joy is 5!  But she is!
Sharing birthday secrets

Beautiful big sister, and our resident photographer
 Big brother making Kasidi's birthday dinner
Her dinner request is a treat for everyone!

 Oh, Khloie

Happy 5th birthday, sweet JOY!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

3 Bags; 3 Winners!

Thank you to everyone who gave and shared our Bags for our Boy campaign!
We are so thankful for you helping us bring Kohlby home!!!
Without further ado, here are the winners~

#1 ~ Kathy Roberts
        She chose 

#2 ~ Tara Harp
         She chose

#3 ~ Denise Poarch
        She chose

Thank you and congratulations!!!
Your bags will be shipped Monday!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ruined? A Bio Kid Speaks on Adoption

It's a well known fact that I (and my husband!) can talk adoption all day long, but what do our bio kids have to say about it?  You might be able to tell how much they love their siblings by the way they care for them, play with them and communicate with them.  But when one of them told me his Comp I instructor allowed him to choose a topic for his paper, and wrote about adoption, it touched my heart.

This is significant to me on so many levels.  When we started adopting 11 years ago, and had three biological children, ages 6, 7 and 14, one criticism we got was, "You'll ruin your family.  You won't be able to pay for your kids' college or buy them a car."  

*news flash* My parents didn't pay for my college or buy me a car, and they didn't adopt.  

We've got one college graduate, one college freshman and another entering college next year.  All three have vehicles, and... you guessed it, we didn't buy those either.  They did.

Nine adoptions later and we still hear similar arguments.  What it boils down to, for us, is... what are we living our lives for?  Who are we living for?

Adoption isn't for everyone.  Adopting doesn't make one family any holier than another.  It certainly isn't a way to get into heaven.  For Clayton and I, it is a way of living out Christ's love for us by loving others.  When He redeemed us 13 years ago we surrendered everything to Him.  Willingly. joyfully, completely.  It's not always easy, and we constantly have an inner battle with our selfish flesh.  But every aspect of adoption, from the paper work, the thorough home studies, the waiting, the faith for provision and the transition has built character in us and our children.

Here is Kolton's Comp I paper.  As an English student, I will tell you it has a few grammatical errors, and he changed some of the facts ~ (you know, names have been changed to protect the innocent:).  But evidently the content and subject superseded the flaws because he got a 100!

So, maybe my kids are ruined.  And that's not a bad thing!

Little Bundle of Joy 
A group of short women wearing the same outfit walk into the room, each one with a little dark haired baby wearing way too much clothing for the temperature in the building. Everyone in the area is sniffling and wiping back tears of joy as the women with the little bundles of silent babies, line up. 

There are about 60 million orphaned children in all of Asia. The cause of most of the orphans in China is their one and two child policies. When a family is only allowed to have one child, they are forced to desperately try to conceive a boy so their family name can continue to survive. 

So, what happens when a family has a girl? Girls are simply dumped in alleys, left on doorsteps, put in drainage ways, or dropped at bus stops. These cruel means of abandonment are due to the fact that it is illegal to put your own child into an orphanage. 

There is hope for these children. On a normal summer morning, my older brother and I, gone, my sister playing in her room, my parents sit silently reading their bibles in the living room. The silence is broken by my mom’s voice, “Have you ever thought of adoption,” she says to my dad. “Yes, I have actually, all week I have been thinking about it,” he replied. 

Without them even knowing it, the Lord had stirred both of their hearts for the same cause. “I have been thinking about China and all the orphaned girls there,” my mom says. “I was also thinking of somewhere in Asia,” said my dad. 

At that moment they both knew what they were supposed to do. Whenever my mom had spare time after that she spent it on the computer researching international adoption. She poured over detail after detail on every single adoption website. She eventually found blogs from adoptive families which turned out to be a great resource for learning the steps of the international adoption process. 

After my mother read many blogs, she found that she needed to talk to an adoption agency, Dillon. Dillon is an international adoption agency out of Tulsa, that my mom got hooked up with to get even more information. She talked to a very nice sounding lady that gave her all the minuscule details that she had so desperately dug for. 

My parents decided to travel to Tulsa to meet with this faceless bearer of all good information. Upon arriving at Dillon they walked into the nicely sized building and met a receptionist. The lady at the door sent them back to an office where they met the rather wrong image of the woman my mother had talked to on the phone. The voice on the phone had come from a large statured, red haired, almost burly looking woman. Despite her appearance, she was the nicest woman someone would ever want to meet. The nice sounding lady helped them tremendously and my parents actually left that day with the information of a baby girl. 

Many months, fundraisers, sleepless nights, and endless prayers later, my parents and my older brother found themselves in the middle of the densely populated country of China. While in the great country, my family took warm muggy boat rides down ever-flowing rivers with steep jagged limestone walls on each side, reaching up toward the sky. 

The giant white people walked through extensive market places that were set up for a much shorter person. The smell of the thick, grungy air followed them everywhere they went, even to the little city in which they were to obtain their baby girl.

 My family members arrived with several other families at the building that their guides led them to. Inside the building all the families were instructed to stand in this blank room and wait patiently for what was to come. 

Then, out of nowhere, a group of short women wearing the same outfit walk into the room, each one with a little dark haired baby wearing way too much clothing for the temperature in the building. Everyone in the area is sniffling and wiping back tears of joy as the women with the little bundles of silent babies, line up. In that moment, the moment every single one of those families had been waiting so long for, my mom and dad were united with their own chunky little bundle of joy. 

Since that awesome point in time my parents have adopted seven more of my wonderful brothers and sisters and are in the process to bring home another. My mom has kept a blog through all the adoptions of my siblings. Through my mother’s blog, and other outreach programs, she has mentored, and encouraged many families through the adoption process. She even helped start an adoption fund grant foundation. From that one single bundle of joy branched countless precious lives saved.


Friday, November 14, 2014

It's 41 Days till Christmas - You Can Help Bring Kohlby Home AND Get a Shot at 1 of 3 Vera Bradley Bags!

*I updated the Widget to PitchInBox so the contributions are visible*

I just realized it's only 41 days till Christmas!  Forty-One!
And I'm estimating our travel in 90 to 120 days! *this is my best estimate only*

We've taken a break from fundraising because we sensed the Lord was asking us to wait.  Until now.  It is now time to move forward.  Not out of panic or anxiety.  But in peace. 

And I'm so excited to show you what we've come up with!!!

Just in time for Christmas gift-giving, or keeping for yourself, I've got a girlie giveaway.

And, because I couldn't decide which item I might like the most if I were buying one, there will be not one, but three winners drawn!

Vera Bradley Triple Zip Holster in Canterberry Magenta

Vera Bradley Trimmed Vera in Ziggy Zinnia

Vera Bradley Work Tote in Cheery Blossoms with Black Trim

So, how can you enter?
*Click on the Purse in the right sidebar called Bags for Our Boy (this takes you to PayPal where you can use your PP account, a credit card or a bank account) or email me for other options
*$5 for a shot
*$10 for 3 shots
*Each blog, FB and IG share gets 1 additional shot (don't forget to comment or email me to let me know, along with the link, please)
*First winner drawn chooses first, second winner chooses next, and well, you get the idea
*Runs from Friday, November 14 to Saturday, November 22
We thank you for journeying with us to bring Kohlby home!

Hurry and consider yourself ahead of the game in shopping this year :) 


Monday, November 10, 2014


Not one thing on my to-do list included what we've actually been doing the past 15 days.
We were caught off guard.
But we've been sustained by the One who is never taken by surprise.
Two weeks ago I received one of the most frightening phone calls of my life, from this guy...

 This is the way he usually is.  Silly.  Tender.  Compassionate.  Passionate about his Lord.
 Ferociously protective of his family.
 His crazy family.
Serious about his corn.

But circumstances we couldn't  have anticipated changed everything.  Clayton was in an accident that landed him in the hospital 15 days.  He's got a long road to recovery, but he will recover, and Lord willing, in time to travel to China for Kohlby and to plant corn next spring!  I can't begin to tell you all the blessings that have come from this unexpected change of plans.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.  
Isaiah 55:9

We are so thankful for:
~The Lord's promise to never leave nor forsake us
~The power of prayer
~Our big kids
~Our church family, the body of believers, employers, neighbors, teachers and our entire community
~Prompt response of and great care from EMTs
~Hospital personnel: CNAs, nurses, physicians, surgeons, respiratory, physical and occupational therapists
~Medical equipment
~Unfailing love from the Father!

When I got the phone call, I literally ran out the door, leaving everything behind, because Allie just happened to be with the kids, so I could do that. 

 Every single day for the past two weeks I've been able to stay in the hospital with my husband because people have rallied around our family caring for Khloie all day and the rest of the littles after school, bringing hot meals to the house, stocking our freezer with food, cleaning our house, doing load after load of laundry, and so many things we probably aren't even aware of yet.

Kuyler and Caitlin cleared their schedule and came home the first weekend to help.  Kolton's been taking care of things on the farm.  Kenzie has been transporting kids and taking care of all the evening, nighttime and morning tasks with them.

We will get the word this afternoon, Lord willing, that we get to go home tomorrow!  One thing's for sure: doing laundry, homework and meals will be much more enjoyable to me now.  Nothing like a good dose of perspective ;-)  

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Kohlby in Motion!

Our agency requests an update when families are DTC (Dossier To China), and we have just what we asked for!

What a beautiful sight to see, our little man running around!  Looks like he'll fit right in!

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