Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting on the Highlights of 2014

It's New Year's Eve and I am taking a nice long bath, thinking about 2014 and dreaming for 2015.

God has truly blessed our family this past year.

In January 2014 I made the decision that I needed to start taking better care of myself.  I started out with a goal to loose a few pounds.  I got so much more than I expected, 12 pounds lost, gained energy, and healthier skin.  Now I am doing something I haven't done since college.  This spring I started working out and lifting weights.

We were blessed with the opportunity to vacation with 50 of the best families you will ever meet. We attended our first ever Reece's Rainbow Reunion. 

This summer with the help our church, Southland Christian Church, and Carpenter Bus we were able to purchase a 15 passenger wheelchair bus.

Twice this summer I was given the opportunity to share how adoption has blessed our family.


This fall we fell in love with two little boys across the ocean.  Both have some unknown medical issues and severe malnourishment.  Due to their fragile health we were able to expedite their adoption.  They will be coming home January 2015.  What a great start to our New Year!

The first pictures we saw of the boys

Sunday, November 30, 2014

CyberMonday Shopping

I will have lots of updates to share this week so keep watch on our blog. 

We have set up an Amazon Associate account to help us raise the money we need for some items for our boys coming home in January.  If you plan to do some shopping online please consider using our Amazon link.

Thank you!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

We are adopting!!!!

We recently started the adoption process to bring home two precious boys.  I will post pictures when we get approval.   For now I will be putting ALL adoption updates on our Facebook page.  I will post our travel log to this blog though.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Boy Behind the Secret Door

Disclaimer:  This is the story of one little boy but there are an undocumented number of children living in the same conditions.   This is not isolated to one child, one orphanage or one country. 

 The Boy Behind the Secret Door

In an orphanage on the other side of the world there is a secret door.  This secret door leads to a secret room, a room that no one wants you to know about.  One day a miracle happened and the secret door was opened.  This is the story of that day.

A group of women had been working in an orphanage for several days.  Every day they would hear screaming and noise but could not locate where it was coming from.  One day they saw some children hanging out of a window and began to ask questions.  They were told “those children are crazy”, “we cannot understand what they are saying”.  The women continued to ask about the children.  God moved mountains and they were lead to the secret door.  The door was locked and held shut by intertwined red and white pieces of scrap material. 

Behind that door they found a few very malnourished children, mostly older children.  It was unclear how long they had been locked in that room or if they had ever been out of the room.  One little boy really caught their attention.  His age was unknown.  There was something about this little boy so they begged to take him out of the secret room.  Their request was granted. 

He was so fragile that his legs quivered when they tried to stand him up.  His lips were drawn and he had wrinkles like an old man.  However, to everyone’s surprise he had the sweetest smile and the most infectious laugh.  He was so hungry.  When he was fed he would lunge towards the food for more.  It was obvious he had not been getting enough food. 

The little boy will never have to return to that secret room.   He will never again be hungry.  He will now know the love of a mother and father.   I know that it is only by God’s divine intervention that our son is alive today. 

No one wants you to know about the secret doors.  They don’t want you to know about the children who are silently dying behind those doors.  However, God sees them and he loves them.  One day God will judge each person for their actions or lack thereof.  I think of those children daily and pray that they feel God’s love even in the most destitute times. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Story of Jacob's Bus

As you know I have been dreaming about and looking at wheelchair accessible minibuses for over a year.  Not that I like to put God in a box, but I really never thought we would be able to get one.  I know better than to tell God what he can't do.  Here is our awesome story . . .

Our church does this thing call the "dollar club".  Watch the video below.

The Dollar Club from Southland Christian Church on Vimeo.

I received a phone call back in April from someone at our church saying they would like our family to be the recipients of the Dollar Club on Easter Sunday.  You are not going to believe what God did!!!  Our church had a record attendance on Easter Sunday.  Our family was blessed with a little over $20,000 for our bus.  SERIOUSLY???  Only God could do that!!

I started researching and talking to bus companies.  One of them just stuck out to me.  Not sure what it was, I just felt good about them.  After much searching and talking we decided the best option would be to order a new bus that would meet all our needs.  A $65,580 bus!!!  We knew we would have to take out a loan so I said "give me the best deal you can".   He came back with a pretty good discount, basically giving it to us at wholesale value.  Of course still out of our price range, but we had our van to trade in or sale.  We asked him what he could give us on our van as a trade in.   He was a little skeptical and said probably not as much as you would like.  We sent pictures and he looked around and surprisingly gave us exactly what we were asking.  Yes, God was working big time behind the scenes!!! 

Oh but it gets better!!

We ended up purchasing that $65,580 bus for exactly $19,850!!!!   SERIOUSLY!!!  Only God could do that!!!

Thursday we traveled to Nashville to pick up Jacob's bus.  What a great day!  We stopped by the Show Hope office for a visit before heading over to pick up the bus. 

Gabriel standing under his picture in the Show Hope office.

When we got to the bus dealer several of the staff came out to introduce themselves to the kids.  AGAIN ONLY GOD!!!  As the kids were telling their names the guy starting talking to them about the Biblical origin of their names.  In their office they had pictures of Israel and Jerusalem.   Several of the staff said they had been to Israel several times.  It was very obvious that the owners and many of the staff were Bible believing Christ followers.  GOD IS SO GOOD!!!

Thank you Southland Christian Church and Carpenter Bus for blessing our family with this amazing gift!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Buddy

I remember it like yesterday.  Nine years ago I was pacing the floors at our house.  I had worked a full day, even making home visits, all while going through early labor pains.  I remember sitting in a meeting and every once in a while I would have to stop talking and take a deep breath.  My supervisor kept asking me if I was ok.  If I remember correctly I went home a little early that day.  Of course Ethan wasn't due for two more weeks so I thought it was Braxton Hicks contractions. 

I fed Darren & Miranda dinner and got Miranda to bed.  I remember not being able to sit down all evening.  I was just pacing back and forth breathing.  I decided this was the real deal, I was actually in labor. After Miranda & Darren went to bed I spent the next few hours going from shower, to bath, to my exercise ball.  Finally around 3:30a.m. I woke up Darren and said it was time to go to the hospital.  I called the midwife and she said "make sure you don't wait too long".  I called my parents to come sit with Miranda.  Around 4:00a.m. we were finally off to the hospital.  The drive there was interesting.  I was very uncomfortable sitting down and I kept thinking can't you go any faster.  I knew we were running out of time. 

We got to the hospital and they insisted that I sit in a wheelchair.  I remembering yelling at them that I did NOT want to sit down.  We got upstairs and they started doing the paperwork and checked me out.  The midwife came in and immediately asked if they had checked to see how far I was.  The nurse said they had just checked me.  The midwife could tell by the look on my face and said you might want to check her again.  Yep I was ready!!  We didn't even get all the paperwork filled out. 

Ethan started having a hard time and his blood pressure dropped.  I remember going to the bathroom and hearing the nurse talking to Darren.  They put oxygen on me and said we need to get him out.  It only took a couple of pushes and a very blue little boy came flying out at 5:09a.m. weighing 5lbs 5oz and 19 inches long.  I was later told that they were only giving me a few more minutes before they had to do an emergency C-section. Again, after the fact, my mom said as soon as I saw him I walked out of the room and called your dad and told him to start praying.  Ethan had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he had a bowl movement.  His temperature was really low and so was his blood sugar. They took him to the nursery for observation for a couple of hours before I could have him back.  Amazingly he did great and we went home after only 24 hours. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Car Dancing

I have had several people say they would love to see what it's like every day in our house.  Well, here is an example of a typical car ride with us.  I did not even notice until I went back to watch the video that Gabriel was asleep in the back seat during all this noise.




Thursday, June 5, 2014

Growing Pains & Hidden Disabilities

For the last year I've been having this internal struggling between keeping my children's lives as normal as possible and at the same time keeping them safe.  I am particularly struggling as my children move into their pre-teen years and their hidden disabilities become more evident. 

I have a daughter who for those looking from the outside see a typically developing 11 year old.  However, if you get to know her a little more you will discover that her social and play skills are that of a 6-7 year old.  Her cognitive skills are at the same level but her decision making skills are even further behind.

Last year it was easy to hold her back a year in the children's program at church.  Our church also has a great program for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Here is where I struggle.  Do I place her in the group for individuals with disabilities or send her to the middle school group with peers her age?

We have always taught our children to treat their siblings and others with respect and dignity.  Our children are taught to help those that need help.  They are taught that God created all people and each one has gifts and talents to share. (sometimes I need to listen to my own lesson)

Here is what I LOVE about my children.  They really do care about each other and want to see each other succeed.  My 12 year old daughter knows that my 11 year old really wants to do what everyone else is doing.  She overheard a conversation between my husband and I and she volunteered to help her sister out if she goes up to middle school. 

So in the fall I will take a big leap of faith and send her to the middle school group knowing she will have the wonderful church staff and a watchful big sister looking after her.