Tuesday, October 17, 2017

LOA!!

It looks like we may be getting our little guy for Christmas!! China has sent out our "LOA" (Letter of Acceptance). They have approved of all our adoption paperwork, so now we begin the immigration paperwork for a "named orphan". The timeline will likely land us in China at the end of the year. We are SO thankful!!!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sammy helps daddy

I caught Sammy helping daddy fix the screen and clean the window area.
He can always be found wanting to help out!

He is taking after his brother, Andrew, who cleaned the bathroom last night before bed--without anyone asking him to clean. He cleaned the bathroom after hours of fishing and being up late!

Love my boys!
They have tender hearts.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Julie's Birthday

I want to say a special "Thank You" to all who made my birthday so special! It was a fun day spent with family.

"Grandma" came up to visit, and "Pappy & Nanny" returned home from a trip in order to celebrate with me.

The day and weekend were filled with sweet birthday messages and gifts of thoughtfulness. Thanks, everyone, for making my birthday so special!

Cherish made the cake and the gift basket. So preciously sweet!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Where we are in "life"...

...has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with God's kindness and the kindness of so many others!

Let me explain:

1. Ms. Shirley, out of the kindness of her heart, has granted Cherish another year of free piano lessons. Pure graciousness! Pure generousity! Pure love! If music ends up being in Cherish's future, I want her to always remember that it was Ms. Shirley who took Cherish "under her wing" to teach, guide, and mold her! Thank you, Ms. Shirley!!! What a gift!!

2. We had our adoption yard sale this past Saturday during our community yard sale. Almost all of the donations came from the Parsons family! Again, pure kindness, graciousness, and love! Thank you for caring for orphans, John, Beth, and family!

3. During the community yard sale, one of our neighbors allowed my children to purchase items for what came out to be 1¢ on the $1. My children bought some NICE gifts for their daddy and siblings!! What an immense kindness!!!

4. Most of my children's clothes and shoes are given to us by family and friends. YOU all keep my children looking good and in style 😉. You all have been so kind in thinking of them! Thank you! Thank you!

5. My children are learning Chinese as a second language due to the kindness and patience of my friend, Mrs. Kong--who knows Korean, Chinese, English, and some Japanese--being able to speak, read, and write in these languages! She drives 30 minutes to our house to give of her time, so my children will know a second language. She is giving them a head-start in life. What a gift! What graciousness! (What patience!!!!!) God bless "Teacher"!

6. My husband has been granted a job where he can work many hours over 40 hours per week, and GOD has granted him the strength to do it. For example, Derek can be found working all shifts in random order to earn money to pay adoption expenses. However, most bodies would crash and burn (and become ill) after some of the hours he works, yet Derek is able to keep going--sometimes on just naps after being awake for over 24 hours. GOD is the One Who has granted Derek the strength and stamina he has needed all these years. Thank You, LORD!!!

7. My children have a Pappy and Nanny who help with childcare and/or carpooling when needed. They have helped our family so very much!!!!!! Thank you!!

I could go on and on and on.

God has blessed us with folks who care for our family and help hold us up. We are where we are today because of what OTHERS have done for us.

God bless you all!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

CCAI Celebrates 25 years!

CCAI and Co-Founders, Josh and Lily, are celebrating 25 years and 12,000 lives forever changed! All our children were adopted through CCAI. God bless Josh and Lily!


Our children are at 0:56 seconds.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Visiting Family

We were excited about our quick trip to visit Uncle Paul and Aunt Kelsey before the hurricane. Here are some pictures from our special day together:






 

*kiss*
 Someone was beyond excited!


 

And pictures taken by Aunt Jen:






And a picture from Uncle Paul:

Thanks, sweet family!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Andrew

How he dresses to hide from mosquitos:
 How he loves to spend his time...with daddy:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Matthew Update

We received an update on Matthew .😁 Although he is 6 months older than Samuel, he is 4" shorter than Samuel. I am really going to enjoy watching him grow!









We were told that Matthew has been in a rehabilitation center for over two years, but we don't know where that center is yet. However, he sure looks happy!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

God hears secret prayers

There is a God.
There is one true God.

How do I know He exists? He continually hears and answers my prayers.

I have had multiple prayers answered back-to-back, and I’d like to share four of them.

First, I was secretly praying for the items Matthew would need when he gets home from China. A lady (Sarah Driscoll) contacted me asking for my address, and she brought over a car seat and some clothes for Matthew—without knowing that I had been praying for such items!

Second, I went to the mailbox today and was shocked to find a check from Bill and Carrie Rowe for $1000 to help cover Matthew's needs! I had not spoken a word of my prayers to anyone!

Third, I was feeling the heavy weight of all the things I need to accomplish on a daily basis, and the weight drove me to my knees in tears. I prayed that God would bring me a helper—someone who could, specifically, help me with some of the homeschcooling while I potty-trained the boys, etc.

A lady (Judy Springer) texted me stating that I was invited to join her at her church this school year for time of refreshing for my heart through teaching and to receive help with my children. She told me that her church was opening a homeschooling area for school-aged children from Kindergarten through 5th grade in which the children would receive help with their school work while their moms had some time off. In addition, the littlest ones would be cared for during those same hours. 

One morning a week, I was invited to be refreshed and mentored while my children had their needs met! To add to this, Judy said she would be covering my year’s tuition for the program! 

This precious lady had no idea I had been secretly praying in my bedroom behind closed doors!

Fourth, my daughter Cherish asked me if she could take dance lessons this year, but I told her there would be no way, as Daddy was working so hard to bring Matthew home.

I told her we could pray together about her desire to dance, and if the Lord would like her to dance, He would provide a way. (Because, we know, "no" is an answer as well.) So, secretly, we prayed together.

Cherish’s dance instructor, Erica Morris, contacted me to tell me that she and Alexis Campbell (Hope’s dance instructor) were covering dance lessons for both Cherish and Hope this coming year. They invited both Hope and Cherish to dance—without knowing that Cherish and I had been praying to God about her desire to dance.

There really is a God!
He is the God of the Bible!

He is alive.
He is active.
He hears and answers the prayers of His people.

He is our great Provider!
And often, He provides more than just our needs!

I praise Him for His kindness!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Thanks to Pappy and Nanny, we all had our glasses and were waiting for our chance to see the partial solar eclipse from our yard. We had some rain and clouds, but we were able to see the eclipse, and we enjoyed the experience greatly!
Thanks, Pappy and Nanny!!!!

P.S. Once we were outside, I had Samuel's eyes to guard and Derek had Daniel's eyes to guard, so we didn't get a "viewing" the eclipse picture.

Friday, August 18, 2017

We are DTC!

Today we are Dossier to China--meaning our adoption paperwork is flying to China right now! It is done! We are SO THANKFUL to the Lord and to all who held us up and walked us through the first part of the adoption process!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are one giant step closer to Matthew!



And, of course, we celebrated tonight with Chinese food, eaten with chopsticks. The meal tasted even better than I remembered, since Derek ordered the food as I was beginning to cook our dinner. No cooking. No pots and pans. Aww! What a celebration!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer 2017e

This summer, Derek's parents celebrated 50 years of marriage.

Though I do not yet have pictures from their amazing celebration,
I do have the following pictures from our time together
following the celebration.

We got to spend the week with this awesome family 😍:






Thanks for the together time, Pappy and Nanny!!