Sunday, December 30, 2012

12 Years


Today is our anniversary!!  Twelve years and so many changes-  Jobs, addresses, hair-do's, children, family life and a few more wrinkles.  

Some things never change... I love you honey!



December 30, 2000

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Post-Christmas sickies

We had a wonderful Christmas with family... despite the stomach flu, respiratory colds and reactive airways.  More pictures to come (once we unpack).

Jack Nathan is sick and getting breathing treatments every 4 hours and steroids twice a day.  Poor guy.  Lots of coughing and wheezing.

Missing Papa this year.  It was very different celebrating Christmas morning without him.  It was good sharing memories of him together.

Friday, December 21, 2012


New Film Premiere - I Like Adoption. from on Vimeo.

In these crazy, busy, chaotic days it's encouraging to see God's love and purpose in the FAMILY.

I came across this video today and thought it was a great pre-Christmas encouragement for Families... of all kinds.

Friday, December 14, 2012

a micropreemie story

Since bringing Abby home from the NICU at just a breath over 5 pounds, I've hounded the internet and books for any information pertaining to my preemie miracle.  Yesterday I got an email from one of the groups I've been reading.  A mom shared the story of her 23 week micropreemie.  She's a writer for the Tampa Bay Times.  She captures her journey with a micropreemie more accurately than any I've read before... parts of it were like reading my own story.

You can read all 3 parts of her story, Never Let Go.

Although this topic is a heavy one for many families faced with the decisions of care for their medically fragile children, we are so thankful that our Hope is the Lord.  It was clear to us from the beginning that He loves Abby and He has a plan for her.

She has some very hard days, but she is one of the most Loved children I know... by family, friends, nurses, doctors and folks we've never met all over the world!

Click HERE to see statistics for a 23 week preemie

Click HERE to check out the delicate science of caring for preemies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

one month HOME

Jack Nathan- 22 months

These 4 weeks have skipped right on by, with out much mention of how we are surviving.  Let's just say there are more smiles, more teeth to brush, more sippy cups to rinse, more diapers to change, more holding, more cuddles, more squabbles, and more reasons to get up in the morning... whether I FEEL like it or not!

More laundry, more eating, more sweeping and more lost shoes...

Precious, new, little eyes.  New expressions.  New cries.  New sounds from the crib. New toes to tickle.  

Folding baby clothes again.  

There is some searching of my emotions to find a "box" to put this new feeling in.  Exhaustion is part of our days too.  Less sleep, less time to sit... less time to finish anything.




It's all a gift.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Adoption Doula!

Doula: "a non-medical person supporting a mother in childbirth, providing information, physical assistance and emotional support."

My sister went with us to China to help our family during the transition of adopting Jack Nathan.  Her role in our family turned out to be SO much more...

She was a servant of servants!  With incredible grace, patience and abounding love she cared for ALL of us.  On the plane, she helped feed, entertain, potty, hold etc.  
Finally arrived in Xiamen, after 30 plus hours of travel

We grew up in China together, so going back was a sort of "going home" experience in many ways for us.  The first few days of our trip were great, seeing the island we remember as kids, reuniting with friends who were really more like family.  We even walked by the Chinese school we attended together!

Heading to Gulangyu- with memories of childhood in the back ground!
Reuniting with our precious sister- Fuji!!

Reuniting with our landlady- a good friend!

Having coffee with our landlady, and seeing our old house

Our old gate!!  So many memories of our comings and goings from that squeaky gate.

When Josiah got so sick, she was a mother to my newly adopted son and my sweet Levi.  She cleaned up vomit and other sickness results!!  (that's true love)  She took our boys out of the hotel for walks, by herself!  She sat with me and Josiah in the hospital, waiting...  She wept with me, and we pleaded with God together for my child.

Words just can't describe how much she means to us, and how very much we love her!

Thank you Christy!  You are an amazing sister and fabulous friend.

(We HIGHLY recommend all adopting families, traveling with children, to have an Adoption Doula!)  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One Less

November is National Adoption Awareness Month!  What a perfect time of year for us to bring home our new son.  

Yesterday I was thinking about all that happened on our trip to get Jack Nathan.  So many things went "wrong" and didn't happen the way I had envisioned.  

The purpose of our journey never changed though... 

There is one less orphan in the world.  Li Rui Chen is now our son forever!  And he has a new name.  He is a Hull boy.  

 God took me into His forever family 30 years ago!  Not because I deserved it, not because I was good or cute.  But because I was created in His image and I asked Him to come into my heart and to be my Lord and savior.  I became a new creation.  I received a new name!  I became part of a new family...

Some day we will have some difficult conversations with Jack Nathan about his past.  The why's and the how's of his life.  He will have questions we won't be able to answer.  But I can't wait to tell him about the Love of our God!  How He orchestrated for us to be a family.  And How much He loves my new boy!

So thankful this season... For so many, many reasons.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gotcha Day!

Now that we've had a few good nights' sleep, here are the FUN pictures from our trip!  Gotcha DAY!  This is the special moment we've waited for... 18 months to be precise.  The exciting day we finally got to hold Jack Nathan as our forever son!

Waiting for our time to meet Jack Nathan!

Paper work and gifts all ready

Going over more paperwork

Levi waiting patiently

Meeting Daddy!

Winning him over with Cheerios!

... and Banana Puffs

Sharing more snacks

Boys working with new Lego's while we wait

With 2 of our guides in Fuzhou... little did we know how much we would need them!

Signing the custody agreement 

It's official!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank you

Now that we are home and getting settled we finally got to check Facebook and see ALL the precious posts asking for prayer for Josiah! Wow.  

While we were in the middle of his illness and hospital stay we felt so isolated from our family and friends.  Internet connection was spotty and most days we flat out didn't have any way to check email.  We knew updates were getting to our family through phone calls, but had no idea how many folks were lifting us up to the Father!  Oh, how we needed those prayers!

getting ready to go to the hospital

Day 1 in hospital

sleeping outside ICU

waiting to see Josiah

walking to MRI

morning rounds on peds floor

A wonderful doctor... now a friend

I don't have the emotional or physical energy to go into all the details of that week, but I wanted to say Thank You to all who prayed for us.  Our Heavenly Father had His hand on us during a very dark and scary time.  He carried us one moment at a time and provided for our needs in so many ways!

One scripture I came across was so uplifting:

  "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

Psalm 62:5-8

A song kept coming to mind while we were waiting those hours for Josiah's spinal tap results...
                             "Strong Tower"

When I wander through the desert
And I'm longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray
When I'm stranded in the valley
And I'm tired and all alone
It seems like I've lost my way

I go running to your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me

Beautiful and mighty
Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You're my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder's all I hear
You speak softly to my soul

feeling better!

Family missing Abby

Thank you dear, sweet friends and family for praying!!  

Home at Last!

Monday, November 5, 2012