Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

5K for the Orphan

As a family, we were able to participate in the 5K for the orphan this morning sponsored by Eastview Christian Church in Bloomington.  It was a lot cooler than yesterday though still a balmy 80 degrees at 8:30 this morning, but it was awesome to be with so many other believers who were running (and walking) on behalf of the fatherless.  This year's proceeds are going to GOYA ministries in Kenya.
Our Daddy was running..
 while we girls opted for the mile walk with the littlest peanut in her wagon.
 They had a splash park there (but it didn't turn on until 10:00)
and our little lady found the remains of last nights rains
pooled in the low spots.  You know she loves water and couldn't help
splashing and eventually plopping right down in the puddles.
 It was hot so it provided her some relief. 
I wish the water was on..
it would have thrilled her.
 She found some climbing..
 and even got on this contraption for a minute with momma.
We had one blessed day as a Family.
Big sissy was a huge help while Daddy was running.
My word, she loves her little sister!
There were other Chinese princesses everywhere this momma looked.
I can't wait until there are two in my wagon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oral Defensiveness..An Update on Our Little Lady

One of the most challenging things about our sweet treasure is her oral defensiveness. When she first came home she wouldn't put anything in her mouth, but a bottle which she had to hold herself.  (Remember she was 26 months and had never had solid food.)  Then about a month after coming home, she let me start putting my finger in her mouth with a bit of yogurt on it.  Slowly, she let me add some baby food (stage 1). I fed her that way, with my finger while she sat on the floor (and I did too), for about two months until she decided she could trust me to put that spoon in her mouth and sit in a high chair. 

We have made huge progress with the spoon feeding and the high chair, but she will still not drink from a cup.  Up until recently, she wouldn't even let a cup near her mouth.  She also gave up the bottle suddenly-well over a year ago-because she was plagued with ear infections when she came home and I suspect that after latching on to spoon feeding she realized it was much less uncomfortable for her ears than sucking from that bottle.  So..I spoon her liquids into her mouth everyday.  It is hard, but I am thankful that she does get some liquid that way.  There were months that she refused to even spoon her liquids in and she got nothing.  SO..we take it how we can.

This month in feeding therapy we talked and found we continue to make solid progress with most of her other feeding goals so we decided to tackle the cup again.   So, I keep getting it out.  At first, she had me use the cup-a lot.  She signed momma drink and watched as I drank from the sippy.  Then she started to pick it up herself and bring it to her lips to kiss it with her lips closed.  Now I can get her to open her mouth and put it in for one good "drink" at each meal.  Then I push her to bring it to her lips a few more times.  This is huge progress!  She continues to make big strides and has come so far!  Everything is such a struggle for her, but I am thankful that God continues to give her the courage to overcome slowly those obstacles that are in her path.

Praying that the cup thing will take soon and then we can tackle tooth brushing. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

While I would go through the trials of the last year a million times over if it meant that this precious treasure got to be my daughter, it is so good to be able to go out again!  She went to the baseball game with our church group on Saturday and she had a blast.  There was lots of noise, a big crowd, a ball, and yet she had a great time.  She loved playing at the playground behind the outfield and I simply marveled at how well she did all night.  We stayed out until well after 9:00 which is much later than I have ever had her out before, but she was fine!  No tears, no anxiety..just a secure baby girl enjoying life.  Oh to type that is sooo good.  God is truly miraculous and continues to redeem this little treasure little by little.  She is walking so much more..not needing to be carried because she is afraid.  Communicating so much through sign.  Growing up more and more each day.  She is a true, true miracle right before my eyes and it just makes me smile to be able to watch it!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Guess Who's At The Zoo?

Jillian went to the zoo today!
She. did. it.
She went to the zoo!
She wasn't exactly comfortable enough to enjoy it
BUT she didn't let her anxiety rob her of the experience.
AND this momma is one happy lady because of that!
 Here she is at the gate as we were leaving
and she is still holding it together!
 This is right outside of the entrance where the sea lions live.
My girl noticed that huge body of water right away.
She looked right at me and signed "out"..
get me out of this wagon lady cause
I want in that water!
 She almost smiled while looking at the large yak like thingy.
 These fences were made for climbing
though she wasn't much for looking at the giraffe.
If only I could read her little mind.
Where are you taking me now?
She posed by this gazelle.
 And now for some smiles..
Eating-my girl loves eating.
She gets excited when her lunchbox comes out.
Eating is familiar and she knows exactly what to expect
and how to communicate her way through it!
 There was some music playing near by which added to her enjoyment!
Truly, this is amazing in itself.
She couldn't even begin to let herself eat away from home even a few months ago!
So..another WAHOO!!!
And for the most exciting part of the day...
(For those of you with kiddos who have sensory processing issues
you will understand why at this moment I am thrilled with this accomplishment. 
The rest of you will just chuckle.)
I got to use the restroom and she was cool as a cucumber standing next to me.
I have never, NEVER been able to do this with my treasure!
In fact, I avoid the restroom at all cost when I am alone with her.
I couldn't avoid it today and she did fabulous in there.
Going to the restroom without a screaming, frantic toddler clinging to you for dear life is something
 I will never take for granted again as long as I live. 
Today was so good!
Very Good!
I am one blessed momma!

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Could Just Eat Her Up

I had to get a few photos of my little in this precious dress...
 She is growing so fast,
 smiling so much,
 changing and conquering more and more each day
 that it takes my breath away to watch her!
Is she not the cutest little watermelon you have ever seen?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Few of Her Favorite Things

For the rest of my life I hope I never loose the miracle in this child..
Here are a few of her new favorite activities.
She is constantly going to the cleaning closet to ask for the swiffer.
The weight of  it and the pushing motion against the floor is great heavy work.
It builds her muscles and is calming so it is a therapeutic activity too.
I particularly love that she enjoys doing this because what momma doesn't love a clean floor.
She loves wearing momma's big shoes.
She puts them on anytime I am not wearing them.
Really, this is too cute.
She is so joyful watching momma and sissy hit the volleyball back and forth in the back yard.
She used to be so afraid of balls that she would enter a screaming meltdown anytime one was near. 
Now she is enjoying watching our antics with the volleyball and tracks with her eyes laughing especially hard when one of us misses hitting it.  She still keeps plenty of distance between herself and the ball though.
She is changing so fast and we are savoring every moment we can!

Friday, June 15, 2012


We had a great time at our local splash pad this week!
Truly this girl LOVES water in any form. 

This was one of the places that I could take her last summer-
though she couldn't walk on her own much yet and she mostly just sat in the puddles and splashed.

What a huge difference a year makes!
Now she is running like crazy,
playing with the water toys I packed to bring along,
and having a wonderful time!

As I edited the 100 pictures I snapped of her,
I can't get over how grown up she looks.
She is gowing into a little girl.

We are having such fun together so far this summer.
She is a JOY!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Want This To Change Me

(I wrote this while Jillian was playing in the backyard.  It is a journal entry of sorts.  Funny how just spending ordinary time with my little can so quickly turn into a God moment.  I was looking through the Compassion International Magazine while she played outside and it got me thinking..I thought I would share my thoughts with you.)

As I stare into the eyes of the sweet child on the cover of this Compassion Magazine, I think about how her hollow eyes match those of my daughter from the East in the pictures we have of her from the orphanage.  My daughter, whose eyes were once hollow, is at this moment laughing hysterically while climbing on her swing set in our backyard here in the Midwest.  Both girls were created by God and had similar starts yet now have lives and circumstances that are radically different. 

It overwhelms me to think that while my daughter has food, shelter, water,  a future, a hope, and  the love of a family- millions more children around the world don't.  And while it causes me to be overcome with sadness, I don't want it to just stop there...

I want this to change me. 
I want this to change how I I I invest my I use my money. 

Honestly, loving this girl of mine has caused my heart to become so fragile.  I love these impoverished children-all of them-all around the world because God has allowed me to love this little, Eastern treasure who He made my daughter.  Before loving her, it was easier to be happy sending up a wordy prayer for the orphan, poor, or hungry every once in a while.  Before loving her, it was easier to just dry my tears and buy a hamburger without a second thought.  Now, because God has opened my eyes by allowing me to love her Proverbs 24:12 has taken on a whole new meaning. 

Once our eyes have been opened we can't pretend that we don't know what to do: for God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know and holds us responsible to act.  Proverbs 24:12
It is my responsibility to act for these children.  I can't turn my eyes away any longer and hope that someone else will do it.  This change in my heart over the last several years has caused me to struggle in so many ways because living in this world and trying not to be of it isn't easy..BUT oh it is so worth it. 

So what am I going to do about the orphan crisis? What does being responsible mean to me?  I am adopting again.  In fact, I will adopt as many times as God allows because this is what He has told me to do.  I pray that God will continue to keep my eyes open and that He insists that I obey His calling remembering that I am responsible-as a child of His-to be His hands and feet for the least of these.  I praise Him that He has allowed me to be a part of caring for my daughter in His name.  I praise Him that He continues to open doors so that we might do more because in doing more..we are experiencing more of Him.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A New Sensory Bin

I finally took some more time to organize our home school area. 
(Having the social worker visit for your full house inspection can be very motivating.)
Thirteen years of teaching treasure equals lots of new fun therapy stuff.

I found these colorful feathers and some bead necklaces.

I had an empty bin or two.

And while they didn't stay inside the bin for long, Jillian loved interacting with them.

She was so cute getting the feathers out from between her precious toes.
A year ago she could have never jumped right into interacting with these strange textures and colors.
She's come along way baby!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Way He Looks At Us

(I started this post several weeks ago, because the way Daddy looked at us struck me so.  I didn't publish it then, but today is our 16th anniversary.  I am grateful to have had 16 years of marriage to a man who loves me so much so I thought today would be a great day to share this post.)

Jillian and I slipped into the back of the auditorium last Friday as Em's awards ceremony was going on.  I sat there in the farthest back seat holding Jillian in my lap and trying my best to keep her occupied.  Daddy was sitting about half way up on the right side and he didn't notice us come in.  I was watching him, watching with pride, as Em was called up to get her year's worth of acknowledgments.  I could see the look in his eye-the intense love that he has for us all.  It's there-right there-in his eyes each time he looks at at one of his girls.

Then he glanced back and caught sight of this momma with our smallest treasure and I saw it again-clear as day.  Words to describe the way my man loves us don't come easy to this momma.  I have to tell you though as I saw him look deeply into Jillian and nearly took my breath away. 

The love of their father is such a picture of Christ's love to my girls and me.  It is something that I never forget to give thanks for because I know from experience that the absence of a father is something that so many young girls have to bare in their hearts.  We are blessed to have Him.  Blessed to know the presence of a Godly man in our home whose leadership, love, and service is a picture of Christ to us!

I pray that our marriage continues to be one that flourishes, radiates Christ to all those around us, and deepens as we grow old together.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thinking of Her...

I'm awake and it's 5:00 AM.  In the quiet of this morning while everyone else is asleep, I am thinking of her-the daughter we don't yet know, but wait for from China. 

Thinking of the way her eyes will sparkle when she laughs. 
Thinking of the way her lips will curl up when she cries.
Thinking of the joy her presence will add to our home.

Wondering if she will fight sleep or nap well.
Wondering if she will suck her thumb.
Wondering if she will be bossy or easy going. 
Wondering if she will be walking when we get her home.
Wondering if she will fight with her sisters for the right to play with their toys. 
Wondering what she will feel like when I finally hold her in my arms.

Hoping she is well cared for.
Hoping she is safe until we can come for her.
Hoping to see her face...just a glimspe..soon!

This is the miracle of adoption.  How can I love and miss someone so much that I don't even know?  It baffles me.  As long as I live, I will marvel at just how beautiful being an adoptive momma is and the fact that God has called our family to love at least one more!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Little Joy

Just because you might need a little joy on this dreary, rainy day...

A joyful heart is good medicine..Proverbs 17:22