Friday, March 7, 2014

February 2013: Moving On

Before we traveled to bring Caleb and Addisyn home, we placed our house on the market. We built this house when we had two young girls. It was the home we brought our first baby boy into. It had a lovely yard, wonderful cul-de-sac, lots of room and it was new...that's what mattered for us *at that time*.



The thing about that house was that we built it before God broke our hearts for what breaks His.

Why is that significant?

We saw that we spent the majority of our money on our mortgage. To live in a new house, on a golf course, surrounded by manicured lawns and perfect neighbors was something we valued when we built that home. That is very much okay for anyone, but for us, we knew we were living in a way that put our priorities in *stuff* and *possessions*....that wasn't how we wanted our lives to be anymore.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

That last sentence struck us to our core. "For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Where was our treasure? In stuff.
Then where were our hearts? In stuff.

No more.

We want our lives to reflect where our hearts lie...in Christ and not in the things we own.

So...our house sold after the little ones came home, thank God! We moved into a small rental as we looked for our next home. God was so good here as well. We were connected with a wonderful woman who wanted to rent out her house and did so with out a time specific contract. We could stay as long as we wanted.

We prayed and prayed that God would guide us. Close doors where they need to be closed. Open the door that was right for our family.

When God called us to adoption, we jumped up and shouted YES!

Yes, we would follow His will for our family.
Yes, we would be obedient.
We also said YES to whatever His call would be for us....regardless of it being popular or "the norm".

With that in mind we prayed. Lord, if it is your will for us to add to our family, to be your hands and feet to a multitude of children, please provide a place that we can live without it being our financial focus.

Here's the deal though....we would need a good sized house and we really wanted to be in the country. Our kids need a place to run and we want to be able to cut down on our spending by raising our own food. Our list of wants/needs was high.

But God.

So many doors were closed....sooooo many. Sometimes I was disappointed. I really just wanted to be in a home, our own home. We are now at just over a year later, still in our rental but God revealed His perfect plan.


This empty patch of land will bloom something absolutely wonderful! 
A home for a growing family, following God's direction.

It will take a long time.
It will be hard work.
But it will be ours and *right* in the price range we need with everything we need.
Please lift my husband in your prayers as he takes on the task of building our home.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 1 Corinthians 3:9-13









Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hellllooooooo out there!

Hey there dear ones! It has been toooooo long! This Momma is back and ready to blog again.

Blogging has been on my mind for a few months but I just kept shoving it away to the end of my "to-do" list...
which is never finished....
and is constantly being added to.....
thus the reason for not blogging in MONTHS. ;-)

Here I am though, ready to blog away and will make.it.regular.
Promise.
(nope, no fingers crossed behind my back)

Things have been busy! Super busy, like on steriods super busy.

I think for my blog's sake (cause you know, she cares) and for my organized brain's sake..I'll go through the past year and hit on some high points in order. 

Over the next few weeks I'll also be revamping the blog, adding, changing, etc. etc. so hang with me as I brush away the cobwebs and get this gal back on her feet.

Blessings to each of you!

Jennifer

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:48






Friday, July 5, 2013

One year ago (Addi)....

Oh, our sweet Addisyn Hope.
 
We found out, just before heading out for our Gotcha Day, that she was hospitalized and we would have to split our family up so she could be quarantined....thus the red puffy eyes in the picture below.....
After spending the first couple days with Caleb we knew that God had a plan. Caleb needed both of us in a big way. You can read about why here.

When Addi's Gotcha Day came we were beyond ready to see our girl. Our sweet guide worked her tail off to get Addi in our hands quickly, knowing we were working against the clock. If we wanted to be reunited as a family in GZ and travel home TOGETHER, we had to get her quickly.

When we arrived at the Civil Affairs office we walked in and saw this young woman holding a tiny little girl. In my head, I thought, "wow! someone is adopting a baby today!". Little did I know, that was our LITTLE girl. She was TINY. At 2.5 she weighed 12lbs...not much more than our son, Kaden, at birth!


Bless her sweet heart, she was covered head to toe in scabs. They made us check her out and wanted to make sure we still wanted her. Holy cow, YES! 

Since Caleb had already bonded with me and allowed me to feed him (somewhat), we made sure to have Addi bond with Luke. 


She became a Daddy's girl in no time! :)

God blessed us with life long friends...Emily and her momma Elaine watched Caleb while we were gone getting Addisyn. 

We had to have her Gotcha Day and her finalization all with in a few hours. The registration officials were quite concerned that we waived our 24hr waiting period but we knew what we were walking into and knew that Addi was meant for us! :)


When we arrived back at the hotel we finished up some paperwork. Then, we had to split. I loved on our baby girl, kissed my hubby and walked across the hall to wash off. Luke and Addi had to be away from everyone in our group, including Caleb and me. It was quite the ride, but WELL worth it!!! You can read more about our Addi's day here.

We will always remember Caleb and Addi's Gotcha Days!

Addi girl has come a LONG way as well, I'll post on her soon! (She's not 12lbs anymore....not even close!)

Happy Gotcha Day, Addisyn Hope DaiYu! We love you pumpkin!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

One year ago (Caleb)....

One year ago today (7/2/12) we met in the lobby of our hotel and anxiously awaited the bus that would take us to meet our son for the first time...it was one of the most emotional days I've had.

Luke and I learned that morning that we would not be getting our two children that day...our angel Addi was hospitalized with a 106 temp and chicken pox...God's hands were ALL over that. Little did we know....we needed to have just Caleb for the first couple days.
Bawling before leaving :) I am so blessed to know this woman. God sent a special angel to be with us. Love you Emily!

--When you adopt a waiting child you fall in love with that child's picture. You imagine him in your family and you dream of the day you'll hold him in your arms. Your waiting child's face haunts you daily...on so many levels. For 9-12 months YOU are not in control of the happenings of your child. You must sit back, trust in God and know that God is good, always...in every situation.

Our Caleb endured some trauma early in our paper-chase which caused a backward spiral in his health. When we said "yes" to Caleb....when he was a chunky, happy little guy, we also said "yes" to whatever would come. As if we were pregnant, he was our son from the moment we laid eyes on him, period.--

Riding in the bus, heading to the Civil Affairs office was like being on a roller coaster with all of its ups and downs...fast, slow...make-you-want-to-puke feelings...but you're going straight and it's not the driving making you queezy (although, in China...driving is a whole post in itself!). 

The what-ifs run through your mind like a video on fast forward. You prepare for the worst and pray for the best. You've got every trick up your sleeve ready to schmooze and bribe a scared child into your arms.

We arrived at the Civil Affairs office scanning to see if any children beat us. Walking up those stairs you can barely breathe.



Being with a family when they receive their child for the first time, hold them for the first time, kiss and hug them...it's like being at a birth. It's the birth of a new family in so many ways. It's watching God's plan unfold right before your very eyes.

I think Kaifeng kids came first, I think. It was such a blur at times. I remember hearing that they were headed up and I honestly don't remember thinking anything, at all. Caleb wasn't well and we knew that...so we tried to prepare ourselves but when his nanny walked through the office doors with our baby boy slumped on her shoulder, I cried. My almost 2 year old could barely hold his head up, his head bobbed like an infants. He was pale and somewhat dazed although he did flash his Caleb smile.


 We loved on him immediately. He didn't fight us, he had no energy to do so. He would raise and lower his head until he became too tired. It was the most wonderful, heartbreaking moments I've experienced. He made heavy sighing noises and his precious eyes bounced back and forth, uncontrollable. With in minutes, he fell asleep. He was one of the oldest in our group of toddlers yet he was a newborn in every aspect of the word.



Our hearts flooded with love for our listless little boy. We just held him, sang to him (Jesus Loves Me) and loved him. No toys, food or bribery, just love...that's all we knew to do in that moment.



I relive that moment in Caleb's life only to remember how far he has come. We battled to bring him home. Refused to let him go. We knew and continue to know that God has mighty plans for our little guy!

Caleb has taught me more in one year than we could have learned in a lifetime.

He taught me about patience.
About unconditional love.
Savoring the little things.
Focusing on the most important parts of life.
Leaning on my Heavenly Father like never before.



Many people have said how blessed Caleb is to have us. We believe we are the blessed ones to be able to call him son.

I will do an update on how far our littlest man has come...very soon! :)

Happy Gotcha Day, Caleb Joseph WenZhi!!!

We love you to the moon and back!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Coming soon!

I don't know who is more excited...my children or the hubs and me!!

Peace and quiet, yes please.
Room for our gaggle to run and play..oh yes!
Turkey and deer galore.
Stepping away from the crazy and off the grid a bit...can.not.wait.

In just a few months we'll move and we are beyond ready!!





Saturday, April 20, 2013

Miss A is 3!!!

April is a super busy month in our house! Luke and I both have birthdays on the 6th, my soon to be sister in law on the 8th, Addisyn on the 12th and our big guy, Kaden, on the 21st!
Addisyn's first birthday at home was a hit!
Happy Birthday sweet girl! We are so blessed to call you our daughter!!




Thursday, February 21, 2013

SNOW DAY!!!

Now that we homeschool, we really don't have to take a "snow day" but since we weren't supposed to be home today, I'm just letting it roll. :)

While Caleb and Addisyn were napping the bigs got their layers on and headed outside! The moment they hit the snow, it began snowing again....ahhhh, the simple pleasures of being a kid. :)

I ran out in my flipflops to get pictures...yes, I still wear flops in the winter...weird, I know. :)