Thursday, November 17, 2011

"God Funds What He Favors!"

People frequently ask those adopting, "How can you afford to adopt?"

As I have poured through scripture, my response is, "How can we NOT afford to adopt?"

God's Word is very clear on how we should use the money He has blessed us with.

He commands us to care for the orphan.

It may look different for each believer.

For some this means to adopt.

For some it may mean to sponsor a child in an orphanage or an orphan that needs specific medical care.

For others it may mean to help those that are adopting.

These are just a few of the scriptures found in God's Word that relate to adoption and the orphan:

James 1:27
Psalms 10:14
Psalms 68:5-6
Zechariah 7:8-10
Jeremiah 22:3
Proverbs 23:10-11
Isaiah 10:12
Deuteronomy 27:19
Job 29:11-12
Deuteronomy 14:28-29
Hosea 14:3

With that being said, only 3% of the people that adopt actually have the finances needed to adopt sitting in an account waiting to be used.  The rest of us have to be creative, frugal, intentional, and trusting that God will provide each and every penny that is needed!

So, as our family begins to walk this journey to bring our daughter home, we've asked for God to show us how to save money, cut our spending, and raise money.

Two of the ways that God has shown us for raising money has been through two organizations.

147 Million Orphans
Just Love Coffee

We are so excited to partner with these 2 organizations!

Gwen and Suzanne at 147 Million Orphans are two amazing women, with 13 children between the 2 of them, who love the Lord and who love the orphan.  God has also given them a heart for helping families that are trying to adopt by supplying a way to earn money while still helping the orphans around the world!

Jason and his wife at Just Love Coffee also had a desire to help families trying to adopt as well as give back to the orphanage they adopted their children from!

I will be posting separately on these two amazing groups but I just wanted to share with each of you how you can help us.

I have added the links to each site on the side of our blog.

When you click on the 147 button, FROM OUR BLOGS ONLY, you can order gear directly from 147 and have it shipped directly to you.  Our family will be able to earn 30% of all sales and it will be paid directly to our agency.  This will pay for our agency fees and international adoption fees.

When you click on the Just Love Coffee button (which I'm trying to fix the link), it WILL take you to our coffee shop. (  Here you can purchase bags of coffee from around the world.  For each bag of coffee you buy, our family earns $5 towards our adoption.  What we rasie is mailed directly to us.  This will be especially useful when we need to purchase our airline tickets, our hotel/food/in-country travel costs, Khloe's Visa and medical exam and her ticket HOME!

We humbly ask that you pray and ask God how you can help us.  And if you wouldn't mind, would you tell your friends and family about us and our fundraising projects?  Often times people want to help, but they just don't know how.   If you have a blog, would you post a link to our blog?

Please know that we will be praying blessings over each of you and your families!

"God Funds What He Favors!"  (gwen and suzanne @ 147 Million Orphans)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Promises Spoken- part 3 (final)

If you just happen to be checking out our blog today, before you read any further, please go back and read about Promises Spoken part 1 and part 2.  (Sorry you'll have to scroll down because I have not quite mastered all of the ins and outs of linking)

So as Kurt and I prayed about where God had brought us, we knew that this detour may or may not be a door closing permanently on adopting from foster care, but at this time in our family's life, the door was closed.

It had been months since I had checked any waiting child list other than AdoptUSKids.

One evening I decided to look at WACAP's waiting child list for girls in China and a little girl who's file we had looked at in the spring was back on there list.  She was a hearing impaired little girl, cute as a button.  I showed Kurt that she was back on the list and he told me to email and inquire about her.

It was during this wait to hear back from WACAP that we remembered why we had to also close the door on China at this time.  And while discussing this, we received an email that said she was no longer on the shared list and that they just hadn't taken her picture off yet.

By this point, we really had no idea what God was up to.

WACAP already had our checklist of special needs that we would be able to consider.  It was a much bigger list than with Jackson.  With Jackson we knew we wanted to adopt a hearing impaired little boy.  But now, God had shown us so many things that we could handle.  girls, sibling groups, etc..

While discussing with Sydney and Jadon about adding another child or children to our family we often discussed age of children.  We were now at a place where we felt like we could inquire about children, specifically girls up to age 10.  This was huge for us.  When we were adopting Jackson we were looking for under age 3 years old.

We replied to the Family Finders coordinator, thanking her for letting us know about the little girl we had inquired about.  And asked if there happen to be any girls up to age 10 or sibling groups available in a different country.

We anxiously awaited her reply.

On Friday, September 2, 2001 the reply came.

Her reply was something like's unusual to see girls referred from this country with the types of individual needs your family is open to, BUT, there is one girl I know of that you might be interested in...

And there she was!  Our daughter!!!!

She is everything we dreamed of! 

She is 4 1/2 years old, only 6 months older than Jackson.  She has amniotic banding.  She was also described as the leader of her friends...and a bit bossy! 

She should fit in perfectly around here!

The process will be long and unlike anything we experienced with China.  It can take as long as 2 years to get her home.  And unfortunately, it may be a year before we know that SHE is officially ours.  There are no pre-approvals and there are no guarantees.

She is from Thailand and we are simply in love!

We are naming her Khloe, which means a tender shoot or a new, fresh bud.

We will have a blog to follow her adoption, just as we did for Jackson, so that one day we can print it out for her. 

When trying to come up with a name for her blog, I really wanted something that God had spoken to me so many years ago.  And I really needed scripture that God had spoken to me as well.

That scripture was revealed to me and I knew what her blog would be.

"God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill?"  Numbers 23:19

You will be able to follow our long, journey to Khloe at Promises Spoken

Sydney and Jadon will be blogging as they feel the need to at Kisses for Khloe

We are so thankful that we have friends and family that support us and have already welcomed Khloe with open arms!  We covet your prayers during this time of God growing our family.

We don't know when we will be able to post her pictures, but it may not be until we have an official referral.

But I can promise you that she is breathtaking and radiant...a tender shoot!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Promises Spoken part 2

Yesterday I left off with China changing some of it's adoption procedures.

With these changes we knew that if we wanted to still adopt from China we would not be able to use our social worker. Since adopting Jackson we have come to love our social worker. We feel that we have built such a relationship with her that if we ever needed to seek her advice on adoption and our family dynamics she would be honest and caring.

With that being said we had to make the choice to not pursue an adoption from China.

We began to ask our social worker questions about other adoptions. Adopting from places that we said we'd never go. And slowly God began working on our hearts and breaking down barriers that we had built.

During our entire process of adopting Jackson the joy that we felt simply from knowing that we had heard God's call and CHOSE to obey Him was overwhelming! And with that experience we knew that we couldn't turn our backs on God's voice.

So I emailed our SW and asked her if she could change our Homestudy to a domestic adoption. She was thrilled!

But it wasn't just a domestic adoption, God had asked us to go where we said we'd never go! And we accepted the call excitedly!

We began the process to adopt from U.S. foster care. We began looking at sibling groups on AdoptUSKids. And there was an older boy and girl we kept coming back to.

We begin making phone calls to sign up for the MAPP classes. By this time we had stopped looking at waiting children on WACAP's list. We found out that the classes would be offered on Saturdays for over a month and would be all day long!

And so the struggles began. The classes basically were for the entire soccer season that involves out of town competitive games for 2 children in 2 and sometimes three different places each Saturday, not including Jackson needing to be watched.

Having adopted before and having read numerous adoption blogs, we knew that the adoption road is not always a smooth one. Sometimes it takes twists and turns that you don't expect.

Trustworthy, available babysitters are not easy to come by. And so we contemplated and prayed.

I continued to make phone calls to register for the classes and found out that the Saturday classes would not be available but the Tues/Thurs classes were going to be open instead.

And so we came to a standstill. Because of the rules for the attendance for the classes we knew we weren't going to be able to take the classes.   Kurt's job requires him to be at Commission meetings every other Tuesday which would put us over the limit of what he could miss from the classes.

There we were!

In a place we said we'd never go!

Asking God what He had planned for our family.

Because at this point we were willing to go anywhere He called us.

I do believe that sometimes God asks us to do the impossible simply to give us an opportunity to obey Him.

We knew this when we began our adoption with Jackson. We knew we had to prepare the big kids that even though we knew God had called us to adopt Jackson, China could still say no. And if they did, then we had done what we had been called to do. And that is when Sydney at age 8 says to us "you mean like Abraham and Isaac?" Exactly!

Promises spoken to a mother's heart.

Promises spoken to Abraham and then later called to do the impossible and to trust Him!

To simply go where God calls you even if you can't see beyond the next turn.

So we obeyed.

And God turned the corner!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Promises Spoken-part 1

I am so thankful to finally be able to post this story.

Or at least the first part of it!

It has been almost two years in the making for us but yet planned before the beginning of time by God.

While we were in China adopting Jackson, Kurt and I both felt God beginning to speak to our hearts about adopting again. We had such a wonderful experience with Jackson's adoption and we knew that we wanted to come back to China.

Our friends that we traveled with while in China were all adopting older family was adopting a 7 year old boy with a cleft lip/palate, another family was adopting a 4 almost 5 year old boy with limb differences and the third family was adopting a 4 year old girl that was deaf.

God was truly opening our eyes and hearts to older child adoption as well as opening our hearts to different special needs.

On Gotcha Day we sat and watched our new friends experience a heartbreaking Gotcha Day! We sat for 30 minutes fighting back tears for this little boy who was so scared! And fighting back tears for his new parents and little brother as they had to endure his pain and fear! All the while we were waiting in anticipation for Jackson to arrive. It was all the things you pray that you wouldn't have to experience. But God was in our midst. And God gently held this boy and transformed him before our eyes.

I am sure that all of us can say we haven't been without adoption struggles this past year and a half. But here we are, coming out on the other side.

OUR original plan was to begin pursuing another adoption after we had been home for 6 months. But we began to hear God whispering to us to be still and know.

I have to honestly say that I was having a difficult time "hearing" that or perhaps I was struggling to listen.

Thankfully God blessed me with a husband that I can fully trust. A husband that I know God is leading.

And so we waited.

Shortly after mid-October China began their new policy to allow families to begin adopting a second Special Needs child using the same dossier we had just used for Jackson.

And so we searched, and I obsessed! And Kurt waited. And Kurt was still.

Then we found out that our fingerprints had expired.  (We had no idea that you could file a free extention the first time)

And by then it was mid-January and we found out we would have to use our dossier by our Gotcha day (a few weeks away)  Meaning we would have to have found our daughter and submitted a Letter of Intent for Pre Approval to adopt.

But we had not found our daughter.

And so we were still.

Well, Kurt was still.

But, I...not so much!

Kurt called it an obsession.

I called it a Mama's heart longing to find her daughter.

A Mama hanging on to the promises that God had spoken to her many years before.

By now it was spring and we began searching for our daughter.

I can't begin to tell you how many files we poured over.

But it wasn't the same as it was with Jackson. When we saw him, we knew he was our son.

Our daughter was no where to be found.

At least not here.

And that's when China changed it's rules.

And God changed our hearts.

We hope you'll check back tomorrow (hopefully) to hear the rest of His story!


The older I get, the more I dislike Halloween. I much prefer Thanksgiving! Fall is my favorite season but in Florida, it's so hard to capture outside what my heart feels like on the inside when I think of Fall!

We've had a few days of crisp cool air in the mornings.

But nothing that lasts!

Costumes are so hot to wear here. Not to mention the outrageous cost of them!

We tried to convince the kids to be soccer players.

No such luck!

After we came home from school the kids got their costumes on so we could go to Kurt's work for Trunk or Treat.

I managed to snap a few pictures.

But not without tears.

Jackson has really gotten into Nerf guns and just didn't understand why he couldn't use a Nerf gun with his costume.

But he managed to dry his eyes once he realized we were on our way to see Daddy.

It turned out to be a quiet night.

After trunk or treating we came home and visited 3 houses on our street and then came in and changed for dinner out!

Thankfully the kids didn't get much candy!!


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Round and Round

The night before we were to head to Shands to get Jackson's 2nd Baha we found out that the Baha had arrived but that the bilateral soft band was on backorder until the end of November! Ugh!!

We kept our appointment and Jackson was tested in the sound booth for an hour! They were able to get more testing completed. He did amazingly well! His speech recognition test was at 92 percent at 5 dB!!! Simply amazing.

On a different note, when we went to see the ENT he told us that he is not the one that completes the evaluation but that the speech pathologist and craniofacial team does. He did agree that Jackson should be further along in his speech.

We also found out that our ENT actually only specializes in the "E"!

He is referring us for an MRI, a psychoneuromotor evaluation and the velopharyngeal evaluation. We are scheduled to go in January for these.

Jackson has also been re-tested to see if he qualifies for the Language Impaired class. We are hoping to find out soon. He will also receive an evaluation for OT services. He is beginning to try and form letters when he writes but they want to give him as much as he can before he starts kindergarten.

Jackson is such a trooper! Thankfully he loves school and his friends!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

2nd Baha Approval and more!

We received word from our insurance company that they have approved Jackson for his second Baha!  We are B.E.Y.O.N.D. excited for him!

We will travel back to Shands in just 2 1/2 weeks to get his second Baha and his bilateral softband.  On this same day Jackson will also be evaluated to see if his palate is too short or if the pharyngeal flaps are too short or not strong enough.  It may even be possible that there might be something occuring with a nerve that triggers everything to happen and in this case is not happening. 

Please pray that the dr. can determine what the problem is.  We think that this is why his speech is not progressing as it should.

We also find out today that the school district has decided to re-evaluate Jackson!  I had requested this at the end of last school year since he was evaluated after only being home with us for 2 months. (This was the only way to get his speech and auditory services started when we first came home) 

But now that he has been home a year and a half we are praying that we can get a more accurate measure of his intellectual functioning.  If all goes well, we are hoping that he will be moved from the Mild Disabilities PreK class to the Language Impaired class.  He would still receive his speech services and also services for Deaf/Hard of Hearing.  Jackson is such a bright, intelligent little boy!  Please pray that he will do well enough to move to the next class.

He just had his second dental cleaning!  He did so well.  His front teeth are perfect, but his back molars are almost like coral.  The dentist believes that it is something genetic.  It is almost as if there is no enamel and the teeth are course and pitted, even on the sides of the tooth.  Our dentist (Dr. Barnes) is amazing.  He's hoping that it is just the baby teeth and not the permanent ones.  Jackson did not have his 2 year old molars come in until his was 3, so we know that it is not from lack of dental care.  (The first night we had Jackson in China, he knew exactly what a toothbrush was for!...just more little thing that we will be forever greatful to his foster mom in China for!)

I know I am behind on posting pictures!

Our big desktop computer, which I ususally work from, won't read our cards from our cameras, so that leaves working from our tiny netbook.  And well...I've been lazy and just haven't done it. 

Not to mention we have so many cute pictures that I have to make more decisions!

Does anyone know if it's possible to send a picture from your iPhone to your blog?  If you can, I'd love to know!  We'd be in business then!

Friday, September 9, 2011

still around

We're still around!

We have so much to blog from our summer vacation!

We drove to Michigan...twice this summer!

We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather.

We also were able to visit with my parents in Murphy, NC for a week!

On the drive home, we made a pit stop in GA and the kids got out and commented on how they forgot how hot is down here!

Jackson had his 9 month follow-up appointment for his softband Baha.  His auditory progress is amazing!  But his speech...not so much!

In a few weeks we will be going back to the pediatric ENT for a velopharyngeal evaluation.  It is possible that something inside his mouth/throat area is either too small or too weak.

I will try to post pictures from our summer sometime this weekend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We learned a week ago that Jackson will NOT be a candidate for the ear canal surgery.
Dr. Roberson said that his facial nerve runs right where he would need to complete the surgery.  If he did perform the surgery, he would run the risk of facial paralysis.
For all of my other bloggy-friends that have children with microtia/atresia, once I hear back from Dr. Roberson, I will let you know what Jackson actually scored on each ear.  I believe that anything less than a 6 Dr. R will not attempt the surgery.
So, you might be asking where we will go from here!
We will have the Medpor reconstruction for his outer ears by Dr. Reinisch.
We have no idea when we will start that process.
On the same day that we received this news, we also found out that Jackson's speech is not as far along as it should be.  Apparently our audiologist at Shands recognized this back in Feb. when Jackson was 3 months into wearing his Baha, but never said anything to us.  She wanted to give him more time.
She is recommending that Jackson have a Velopharyngeal evaluation completed.
She is concerned that the flap is not closing in the back of his throat or that his palate may be too short and that is why he cannot produce the first consonant sounds at onset...m, b, etc.
We are also in the process of trying to get Jackson his 2nd Baha so that he can wear then bilaterally.
We know that God has amazing plans for our little boy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CT Scan

Today was Jackson's CT Scan.  He did AMAZINGLY well!

The technician didn't want me to give him the Rx to make him sleep.

Kurt was able to get off from work to help rock him to sleep.  He's THE MAN!!!

You Rock!

Jackson was asleep but then woke up just as Kurt was putting him onto the table.

He didn't move a muscle!

I stayed in with him during the scan and I could only see his little eyes move every once in awhile.

Tomorrow after 12:00 we can go pick up the copies of the scan on CDs and mail to Dr. Roberson in California.

We will then wait for him to contact us with the rating score for Jackson's atresia surgery.

We honestly have no expectations for whether or not he is a candidate for the atresia surgery.

This determination will set the course for ear reconstruction surgeries.

Thank you to all of our friends and family that were praying during the CT scan.  Your prayers were felt!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trusting Him

We have begun the journey for ear reconstruction for Jackson.

It will be a long road.

We have decided to pursue the Medpor method.

We Skyped with Dr. Reinisch in California a couple of weeks ago.

He was very informative and was able to answer our questions and concerns.

Tomorrow Jackson will have the CT scan completed.

Please pray for us. Our pediatrician did not request a sedated CT scan.

We will be giving him a prescription medication from our pediatrician to enable him to be still for the procedure.

Please pray that the medication will enable Jackson to remain completely still so that they can get a perfect, readable scan.

This is just the first step in finding out if his hearing will be able to be restored.

Once the scan is completed, we will mail a copy of the scan to Dr. Roberson in northern California. He is the Doctor that will determine whether or not Jackson is a candidate for atresia surgery. This is the surgery that would make ear canals for him. If he IS a candidate, we would have the ear canal surgery first on one ear and then the outer ear reconstruction using Medpor with Dr. Reinisch. And then 6 months later, we can reconstruct the 2nd ear.

I must confess that it is beginning to get harder noticing the staring at Jackson because of his microtia and the fact that he does not have a right ear. At first it didn't really bother me, but I guess that as each day passes, I know the day is going to come when Jackson notices and is able to tell us that it bothers him.
We don't really know how much he understands about his ears right now.

Please pray that as we begin this journey that everything will go smoothly with our insurance. With each atresia repair, there is a very LARGE amount of money that has to be paid upfront to be reimbursed later. Money that I'm sure very few families have sitting around in their bank account or even available on a credit card.

But, with that said, I know that God will provide every last cent. He did with the adoption. And when we tried figuring it all out on our own, God would always whisper to me, "Trust me."

So, we are beginning this new journey Trusting Him!

Trusting that He has every detail figured out.

Trusting Him that every penny is accounted for.

Trusting Him, once again, in His timing and not our own.

Trusting Him that His Word is Truth.

Trusting in His incredible love for Jackson and the life that He gave to him at the moment of conception.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Easter...oh my!

Is he stylin or what?

How can it be that I was able to go without posting about Easter?

Especially with these sweet shots!

We went to church with our wonderful friends, The Wangs, that live in St. Augustine!

It was wonderful celebrating the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior with such fabulous friends! Kurt even ran into an old friend that he worked with years ago!

catching up...again

We've been having difficulty downloading pictures to our computer

So it's been a process getting these pictures of the kids to our blog.

Ormond Memorial Gardens is a beautiful area in our town

It has a small waterfall, a gazebo, large bamboo growing, and a small art gallery!

We went here to try out my new camera that I received from Kurt and the kids for my birthday back in March. These pictures were taken at the beginning of April. It probably was not the best time or place for photographs due to the sun and all of the shadows from the vegetation but I guess it's better than not having any pictures at all to docoment how well the kids are doing together.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

broken hearted.

It finally happened.

It was just a matter of time.

A certain big brother in the house had his heart broken today.

Broken for his little brother.

It happened as we were leaving the school where Jackson goes to preschool.

We've walked down the hallway a million times this past year.

We've walked past the sweet children that line the walls waiting for their parents the same million times.

But today was different.

I heard the snickering.

I chose to ignore it.

We got through the doors and out into the parking lot.

I had to stop dead in my tracks because my oldest son could walk no further.

His head was hung low.

When I asked him what was wrong,

He looked up at me...

With tears in his eyes.

And he said,

"They were laughing at Jackson".

My heart broke for both of my sons.

We knew this day would come.

It was something we talked about with the kids before we adopted Jackson.

How would we respond?

We would always defend him and protect him.

Jadon walked over to Jackson in my arms and kissed his knee and said, "I love you, Jackson!"

Tonight we pray about the best way to defend and protect him.

Tonight we pray about how we can educate others with love in our hearts.

Tonight I pray and thank my Lord for breaking my son's heart with what breaks His!

Praying that all of my children's hearts will break for what breaks His!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Still Here...

in case you were wondering!

We've had sporadic episodes of stomach virus.

First Child #1...

Then Child #2...

Then Child #3...

Then we were good...

For awhile!

Then we were back to Child #2...

and then Child #3...

Then we were good...

For awhile!

Now we're back to Child #3!

Crazy thing is.......

FCAT was happening during all of this and I teach 3rd grade which has to take the test.

As I look at my data here, it seems that there is a pattern...

that follows some type of rule...

But I can't seem to figure out what input is causing our output!


So for now, we continue to make mad dashes to the potty!

We have so many posts to catch up on!

Like someone turning the big 40!

The garden...


A new camera...

Sign Language...

Potty Training...

A special double-digit birthday coming up...

Speech/Language evaluation testing for placement next year

Hope you'll stick around...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

strawberry jam

Until our strawberry plants produce enough fruit as this, we will be making strawberry jam using the amazing ones we bought on sale at Wal-mart. They were selling them for $1.58 for a pint. Aren't they beautiful?? I hope ours will be just a yummy!
My friends Amanda and Tracy coached me through the process of making freezer jam. I'm hoping to get the Pressure Cooker for canning for my birthday. The 8 oz freezer container on the left is made by Ball and on the right is an 8 oz container made by Ziplock. They both come in packs of 5.

If my picture weren't sideways it would be easier to recognize the food processer. I think the texture of the strawberries would have turned out better had I used the potato masher instead. But this was my trial batch. I just used the Sure-Jell Pectin and followed the directions in the packaging!

I'm not sure if it was from using the food processer, but when using exact measuresments throughout the process, I ended up having double what I should have had...I think!? After processing the 2 pints of strawberries, it then called for 2 cups of crushed strawberries to be added with the 4 cups of sugar...I ended up with 4 cups of crushed strawberries!
All in all, I was able to make 10 ~ 1 cup containers of stawberry jam!
The kids LOVED it!

spring has sprung

Spring is here in FL! Our garden size was more than we anticipated!

But we are excited to see what we will be enjoying on the dinner table!
Tomatoes, Red Bell Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Banana Peppers, Sugar Snap Peas, Green Beans, Carrots, Yellow Squash, Romaine Lettuce, Cucumbers! (We ran out of room...the okra, corn, and zucchini didn't make it in this year!)

We even planted strawberries!

We can't wait to see what will grow here! Blackberries, Blueberries, and Grapes!

It's beginning to take off! We'll be sure to post more pictures as it begins to flourish!
The kids always enjoy working outside in the garden!

Gator Showcase Soccer Tournament

Sydney holding her own!

Brothers hangin' out and enjoying the game!

All the girls! Beginning to warm up before the game.

Gator Showcase 2nd Place U10 Division!

A few weeks ago, Sydney's soccer team played at the Gator Showcase Tournament in Gainesville. (University of Florida)

The girls did an amazing job, taking 2nd Place in the U10 division!
We've watched all of the girls' skills improve so much this year. It is the first year they have all played together.

Sydney is learning to be more aggressive...most of the girls on the other teams tend to tower over her! But she is learning to hold her own!

We're so proud of you Syd!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

happy gotcha day!

One year ago today, we officially became Jackson's parents!

Kurt and I remember sitting in our hotel room in China talking about what Jackson will be like in 6 months and then again at 1 year post placement.

He has come farther than we could have imagined!

He's by far THE FUNNIEST person in the house!

His speech is just beginning to take off. I think his favorite word is..."oooommmmm-aaaaaa" (mama)

Tonight we had a special little cake to celebrate our special little man!
Hopefully soon we will be able to get our China pictures off the netbook and onto the desktop computer.
I've put Kurt in charge of making a video of our gotcha day memories!

We are so blessed to have been chosen by Him to be Jackson's parents!

Happy Gotcha Day, Jackson Kuan! You are LOVED!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

we're surviving...

the flu!

It started on Sunday with Jackson!

Then came Mama!

Then Jadon!

Then Sydney!

It's now Saturday!

Praying he's not next!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The tired crew after a great afternoon sledding!

Sydney walking up the big sledding hill!

Jackson being pulled on the toddler sled. He LOVES the cold
weather and the snow!

This would be the BIG hill! It was actually a toboggan run!
It was extremely steep and 2 large dips in it! If you look at
the middle of the picture in the distance, you will see a tiny child in the
middle of the run starting to make their way back up!

This would be the same run my loving husband told me to go down with Jadon.
Let it be known that it was my first time sledding...E.V.E.R.!
I knew that it was steep and fast, but I figured I'd be ok since the kids did great!
Jadon and I went down together and it was scary and I was so glad we were almost done, until I realized that no one had told me how to make it go slower. The next thing I knew, the sled went flying out from under us and I held onto Jadon for dear life! Hoping that we would not go off of the track and into the trees!
Snow and ice were pelting our eyes and this mama was screaming! (Please remember that I was born/raised/have lived my entire life on the beaches of sunny Florida!)
By the time we stopped, I had my sweet 7 year old son crying and screaming at me, telling me that it was ALL my fault!
We then moved to the sledding hill!

more christmas pictures to treasure!

Sydney with our friend Lana at the
Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game.

Jackson enjoying the hard hits!

All the kids waiting for the game to begin!
While we were at the game we saw a family a few rows
back wearing their 147 Million Orphans gear!!!

Nana B teaching Sydney and I how to make her
famous Molasses-Ginger Cookies! Nana B will
celebrate her 90th birthday in June!