Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Due today....

Today my little love...today you were due to be born...but the Lord had another plan for you...you were born 9 weeks ago straight into the Lords arms.

9 weeks later...I still miss you so much it hurts deeply...
9 weeks later...my grief for you still looms over my heart continually...it's something that doesn't ever go away...

9 weeks later...I still dream of you...wonder what you look like...
...I still long to kiss your face...to hold you in my arms...to smell your sweetness...to caress your little face...to hear your little coo's...to know your cry...to gaze into your eyes and tell you how much your mama loves you...to hold you close to me...

9 weeks later...for a split second I still catch myself planning for your arrival...thinking you'll be home for Christmas...

9 weeks later...it still blows me away that my hands and heart could be so full yet my arms still feel so painfully empty...my heart has a missing part and it's you...

9 weeks later...oh my baby girl, I hurt so much to have you here with us...

Our glorious, precious, joyous melody...our Zemirah Joylena...your family loves you so much...we talk about you every day...you have forever changed our lives...you have shown us the ability to find joy in the deepest part of our grief.

(we would love your continued prayers ... 9 weeks later, our sweet girl has still not been buried or released to us.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

You are God ALONE!!!

I sit here with such a heavy heart...but a joyous, hopeful heart!!!!!!!!

1 month ago today, our beautiful Zemirah went home to be with the Lord.  We were mere weeks away from her birth...how can it be a month already...there are many split-seconds that I still find myself anticipating her arrival but then the sting of reality quickly reminds me...

So many other things are on my heart, too...real life, every day things....

I do have hope...I do have joy...not so many words today...this song speaks to the deepest parts of my heart...to the deepest truths I stand on....

You are not a god 
Created by human hands 
You are not a god Dependant on any mortal man 
You are not a god 
In need of anything we can give 

By Your plan, that's just the way it is 
You are God alone
From before time began

You were on Your throne

Your are God alone

And right now 

In the good times and bad 

You are on Your throne 
You are God alone 
You're the only God 
Whose power none can contend 
You're the only God 
Whose name and praise will never end 
You're the only God 
Who's worthy of everything we can give 
You are God 
And that's just the way it is 
Unchangeable 
Unshakable 
Unstoppable 
That's what You are 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

TODAY!!!

TODAY IS ORPHAN SUNDAY!!! 


TODAY...churches across the GLOBE are raising awareness about the orphan crisis...YES...IT IS A CRISIS!!!! Families are sharing their stories...eyes are being opened...hearts are being stirred! 

TODAY...THE ORPHAN IS BEING GIVEN A VOICE!!! 

Today...many will be challenged to answer God's CLEAR COMMANDMENT to care for the orphan...

Today...many will choose to hear and not act. 


Join us in praying for the orphan today...
Join us in praying that the Lord moves mightily within the church...
Join us in praying that EVERYDAY is Orphan Sunday so that children will NO LONGER have to live without a FOREVER FAMILY!!! 
Join us in praying that the church will step up and CARE FOR THE ORPHAN!!! 

It's not a complicated task...God has already laid it out in scripture...we need to act on it

God created children to be in families...NOT institutions!  There were no orphanages or group homes in biblical times...the CHURCH CARED FOR THE ORPHAN...God CALLED the church to care for the orphan. 

HANG ON SWEET ONES...THERE IS HOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Hope is Fading – Orphan Sunday from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Christmas Frenzy

UPDATE:  Bumping this to the top...need some extra joy today so what better way than to see all of the beautiful babes waiting for their forever families to come and bring them home!!

Christmas Frenzy is for EVERYONE!!!
You will fit in one of two categories....
1. Fundraising family
OR
2. Supporting family :)

Okay...here's how it works. All of us LOVE to give Christmas gifts EVEN when times are financially tough. This will be our third year posting our Christmas Frenzy and I want to start this thing early this year!!! Because we are ALL gonna get this shopping thing done early for once, right??? A girl can dream, right :)


Seriously, though....I have become very passionate about giving with a purpose. It's such a win-win situation...you help support an adoptive family...they become one step closer to their treasure...you give an awesome gift with a story...SERIOUSLY COOL!!!
FUNDRAISING FAMILIES:
~You must be in the process of adopting or recently home. You must be using the funds from your items to directly fund your adoption costs.!
~You are selling an item to help raise funds to bring your child home. (no raffles, please...it's okay if you are currently running a raffle BUT you MUST be selling fundraising items too, like shirts, etc...that is what you need to be linking to)

~If someone is giving your family part of the proceeds for items, like Scentsy, jewelry, THAT WORKS, TOO :)
~You need to post on your blog and/or facebook about our Christmas Frenzy and link back to my blog. This is CRUCIAL...the more awareness we raise the more supporting families we will have.
~Please make sure you create a NEW blog post regarding the Christmas Frenzy...don't link to an old post. BUT don't forget to highlight what YOU are SELLING in that post :)
~I would love for you to become a follower of my blog...just cause I wanna know who my friends are :)
~Add your blog LINK to the BELOW Linky tool (at the bottom of this post)
~Fun idea for fundraising families...you guys can swap items and then have some fabulous items to do a raffle.

SUPPORTING FAMILIES:
~Make your Christmas list and try to support as many families as you can by purchasing their fundraising items as gift. (click on the below links to see the families)
~Please help spread the word for these families!!! Blog, facebook, tweet, and link back to my blog!!!

Fundraising families and supporting families unite to bring orphans home!


Link up below!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Prayer request...burying our girl...

In most situations, when a loved one passes away there typically aren't many concerns with burying them because the mortuary handles a lot of the 'behind the scenes' stuff. You are able to notify the family...plan the date....the ceremony... and begin to find closure even though you are left with a gaping hole in your heart. You at least walk away from the funeral having peace that their precious body has been buried with respect and love.

One of the hardest things for us to find closure in Zemirah's death is that her beautiful, little precious body is in a mortuary in Nevada and we have no legal rights to bring her home and bury her properly.  This has been extremely difficult for us.

We were coming to a place of acceptance when we received a phone call stating the mortuary had already buried her.  For a second, there was relief....then the reality of that started to sink in...when was she buried? who buried her? where is she buried? was she given a name? will we ever know where our daughter was buried?  A new depth of grieving has begun for us...none of this seems right...our baby girl was buried and we had no say in it...we have no idea where she is...this is almost too much to bare.

So, I sent our questions to our precious social worker. She had been in constant contact with the mortuary and we were all under the impression that they would keep her sweet body for 30 days while we tried to find the bmama so she could release her to us.  It has not be 30 days, so needless to say, we were shocked by that phone call on Friday telling us she was already buried.  Our sw has been making several phone calls.......and we just found out.....

Our little love has NOT been buried...she has NOT been given a legal name...she is now tied up in social services...YES...social services! We have bmama's consent and support in them releasing her to us BUT we need prayers that social services will release her to us so we can bring her home and bury her properly.

We've been told social services can take up to 90 days to determine her 'abandoned' and then we aren't sure what happens...I still can wrap my head around that...90 days?!?!?!?!   SHE'S NOT ABANDONED...WE WANT HER...WE LOVE HER...SHE IS OUR PRECIOUS BABY!!

Please my sweet friends...pray for the Lord's will and if it's His will that we get the honor of burying her, pray that social services will work quickly to allow us to bury our beautiful baby!!

In the midst of all of this we do have a bmama update:
She called a couple of days ago...what a relief to hear her voice. She is doing amazing!  She did receive the 'package' of love we sent her and was so incredibly blessed by it and all of you!

Still clinging to the joy of the Lord...still hurting...still missing our girl...still feeling like we won't ever be completely whole...BUT still trusting and loving our Lord...still hanging onto the hope that only He can give us...still resting in the peace that HE IS IN THIS!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

2 weeks since 'the call'


Has it only been 2 weeks? 2 weeks since we received the devastating phone call about our precious Zemirah? 2 weeks ago we went from dreaming and planning to grieving and mourning. God has been so faithful to love us...give us peace and comfort...faithful to allow us to hurt but to never leave our sides. YOU my precious friends have stood faithfully in the gap and have laid us at Jesus' feet continually...thank you!

How are we?  We are still hurting...still missing her so much...there are moments that we are okay and moments where we can hardly breath...moments of happiness and moments of deep pain...moments of acceptance and moments of some serious fits ;)...moments of complete peace and moments of disbelief and frustration.

We are entering the time she was due...where all of our plans for Nov. and Dec. where based upon "when the baby gets here" or "all depends on when she arrives"...decisions we had already made because we thought she'd be here...decisions we were waiting to make because we weren't sure exactly when she'd arrive. And now we find ourselves re-deciding everything because she isn't coming home. :(  The sting of her death is a daily occurrence right now.

Our sweet little love, our arms ache so much to hold you.  You are in our every thought and dream.  Baby girl, we love you & want you so much it hurts but we know you are in the Father's arms and there is no safer place for you to be!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Joy comes in the morning...

Psalm 30:5b
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

This is a post I've been working on all week. I felt like the Lord was unfolding things for me to see...things for me to learn...things for my aching heart to grasp onto...

ever where I turn....
ever where I hear...
j o y....j-o-y...JOY....JOY...JOY

I see it on the beautiful canvas I had made to reflect the journeys to our babes...


I hear it in a story my husband shares of a friend who's baby also died young...April Joy...

I see it in a jewelry order for a sweet baby desperate for a life-saving heart surgery...Ivy Joy...

I hear it in every song....

I see it in several friends blog posts about counting it all joy...

I hear the word echo in my head all day long and all night long...

I see it in a sign I didn't even know I had...


It's every where..."I'm trying to see it Lord..I'm trying...but it's so hard! Where is the joy in this....I know you are showing me but I'm just having a hard time grasping it."

Joy: Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.....ummm, ya...so not ecstatic right now!!!

There is definitely no "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, where? down in my heart..." going on over here!!

Then I realize something...more like the Lord was uncovering my eyes to show me...There is NOT joy in Zemirah's death...so stop trying to find joy in her death. But there IS joy 'down' in my heart because no matter what...I HAVE THE JOY OF THE LORD in my life!!!!  There is joy in Zemirah's little life...joy that she is forever safe...joy that we will love her forever...joy that she IS and will forever be our daughter...joy that we WILL see her and hold her for eternity!

From a sweet friends blog: I have decided to joyfully accept whatever the Lord allows in my life.

I will accept His joy...His joy is my strength...I may still hurt but I trust Him...

My beautiful joyous melody...my precious Zemirah Joylena...we miss you...you are ours FOREVER...you will be in our hearts for eternity...our hearts will never be completely whole until we are all united together in heaven.  We still weep for you our little love but have joy in knowing that we will see you soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

the kids grieve....

Today I wake up feeling like I actually slept but I still feel so tired.  My body needed to rest but my heart and mind are still very in-tune with what has happened...they don't rest. The weight of this is so heavy...hard to carry but the world keeps spinning and we are being drug along. I think we are in the surreal phase of this grief. Is this really happening? YES...it is...now what are you going to do with it? I don't like being sad...I don't like crying...I don't like the headache that hovers over me continually...I don't think I have any more tears...to know that the Lord has caught every tear comforts me.

Our precious babes...we try to hide our tears from them but they see them. They are each grieving in their own way. You see....they LOVED their baby girl fiercely....they dreamed about her...talked about her every day...every decision was based on 'when Zemirah comes home'...they had the bedrooms all figured out...they 'discussed' daily about who would get to sit near her in the car...who'd feed her...who'd change her...

I open the door of our room after 'the call' came..after I called Paul...our oldest daughter was sitting in the play room...she begins to panic...she can see it all over my face...Paul was on his way so we could tell the kids...her tears are flowing..."Mom...what's wrong?  Please mommy...please tell me it's not about the baby...please mommy..." I call her into my room and we just hold each other and weep.

The grief was so intense it was suffocating...how are we suppose to tell the kids...it was just too hard but we manage to tell them what had happened to our girl.  Over the next several days, we can see their sadness...we can see them trying to understand and process something that we can't even process.

~It's not fair! Zemirah never got a chance to live...that makes me really mad.

~How did she get to heaven?  Who took her there? Will she stay in heaven forever?

~Daddy...I'm sad that our sister died.

~What did she look like?

~We're not just going to sit around here and cry all day, are we?

~Mom...(with crocodile tears falling)...can we keep Zemirah's stuff just in case she comes home?


~Mom, I wish our Zemirah wasn't dead because I know she would look so cute in that dress (a dress Jubilee was wearing). I want to see her wearing that dress.

~Mom, why does she have to be dead?

Their comments always come when we least expect it...just when I think we have a little peace and relief from hurting, one of them will say something.  Even our little ones could grasp that she didn't have to be home in our arms to be ours.

Zemirah girl...you will forever be our daughter...forever be their sister...we love you so deeply...we hurt because you aren't here with us but rejoice that you are safe with the Lord. We can't wait to have you in our arms forever.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Beauty and Joy in this...


"I want to believe there's beauty here...where Lord...where is the beauty...where is the joy?"

Then He gently whispers to me, "The beauty was in the life I created. Beauty is in the life that I brought home and is dancing around my throne. Remember...you named her Zemirah which means joyous melody...the beauty is in her joyous song.  The beauty is in your deep love for her...in her daddy's love for her...in her brother's and sister's love and longing for her to come home...in her family...in your friends love and weeping for her..."

It truly amazes me the conversations you can have with the Lord while you are sleeping. He is speaking so clearly.  He isn't removing all of the pain so we can grieve her but He is in the grieving...molding us...directing us...giving us peace and strength while allowing the pain.

Truths I cling to today...beautiful wisdom from friends:
*She was your baby. If she wasn't yours, whose was she? God gave her to you to love and to mourn her passing properly, who else would that tiny one have had if not you. So you cry and weep and what a privilege it is to do so in glory to God and in honor of her.


*She is loved and she is wanted... she was never an orphan because God gave her to her forever family and one day she will be united with her mama, with her daddy, and her brothers and sisters for all eternity and nothing will be able to separate you again...


Father, thank you for the short time we had dreaming of our girl...praying for our girl...thank you for giving me the most amazing beautiful gift of hearing her heart beat for a whole hour...for being able to feel her moving. I remember feeling like a little panicky as I tried to hang onto every beat and every movement...I can see now as I look back it was You telling me to soak it up...soak in the rhythm of her heart...I can still hear it...the teeny hand pushing back at mine...I can still feel it. She was alive...she was strong. We are thankful...thankful that she is forever protected in your arms and in our mourning we find traces of joy that we will see her soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The day after....


We are so blessed by your love and your support as our hearts are hurting. We have read every blog comment...every fb post and prayer...you have no idea how much those are sustaining us...we have an army flooding the gates of heaven on our behalf and the Lord is answering your prayers.  

So much of this doesn't even seem real. 48 hours ago, we were nesting...we were preparing for our baby girl that was to be born soon...at 11:54 am yesterday all of that came to an end..."Can I come over...I want to talk to you in person...." "what...what's wrong" ... "she's gone Stacy...she's with Jesus" ... 

12 hours later...it's midnight...I'm exhausted...I'm in shock...I need to sleep...I want to sleep if only for a bit because that would mean I wouldn't feel this pain...I was wrong...that was the most painful night I've ever had...I tossed and turned all night...was I awake or asleep...I'm still not sure...I had the song Need You Now by Plumb playing over and over in my head...I found myself with every turn crying out to the Lord...I NEED YOU NOW...I need you now Jesus...

He is meeting us here...He is loving us...comforting us...I know we have to go through this process but it sucks...

Up and out of bed 5 hours later...I'm going running with my girls this morning...my prayer warriors but I decide I just can't do it so we ditched our run and cried over pancakes ;) LOVE you girls...thank you for crying with me...thank you for sitting quietly...thank you for the laughter.

Now what for the rest of this day...a boutique...bleck...I have to try to pull myself together and go to a boutique....I just emailed the below message to a precious friend...one of the very first one's to hear about our girl...to cry with me...to pray for us...

i was so sad to hear that you came today and i wasn't here...the last place i wanted to be was at that boutique...it was so hard to be there...hard to smile and share our story....hard to see people i know and cry all over again...so painful to share my 'sample' jewelry that had my Zemirah's name and the word 'joy' all over it...i went for my trinity...my sweet girl who crafted her heart out last week...my sweet girl who is really struggling with all of this...trying to give her something normal or distracting while all along i wanted to be home holding my babes and in my hubby's arms.

i'm exhausted...my emotions are all over the place...sobbing...angry...despairing...to feeling nothing at all...back to weeping for my baby girl....this sucks!!!!

then i walk in the front door and my beautiful friend who knows me better than she thinks she does brought me my comfort food...left me a precious letter...i love you...thank you for loving on me...thank you for recognizing she was our baby even though she was never in our arms!!!

Our precious Lord is here with us...He is comforting us...He is bringing us answers to some of our 'why's'...He is here!  He is using many of you to remind us that He is in this.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Devastated...our girl....

Our hearts are deeply hurting...

Our dreams of our sweet babe in our arms have been destroyed...

Our precious baby Zemirah is in the arms of Jesus.
She went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, October 7th.

We are all aching but we are trusting in the Lord's plan and His will.

We are confused...trying to understand while knowing we will most likely never understand...

We are stuck in a place of uncertainty...what do we do now?  We went from the excitement of planning for the arrival of our joy girl and in an instance, all of that has stopped and has been replaced with deep hurt....

No words...just aching right now....




Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Waiting on the Lord...

You know...waiting is NOT my favorite thing to do! And for anyone that has traveled down the road of adoption knows exactly what I'm talking about.  It's hard to wait...you wait on your spouse, you wait on your paperwork, you wait on your agency, you wait on your country or birthmother...wait, wait, wait, and WAIT some more!!!

With all this waiting, you'd think I would be very productive and get something done but nope....I sit around and wait....which is a lot like waiting for a pot of water to boil...GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN and do something for crying out loud! But no...I sit there watching the pot of water...I get excited when even the tiniest bubble floats to the top then I get grumpy when no more bubbles appear

...but WAIT...I see something happening at the bottom....stink, nothing!  I turn away for a minute and lots of baby bubbles begin to form but nothing major...COME ON!!!! I want the roaring, big, bubbly bubbles....let's get this thing on the road so I don't have to wait any more!

Then my sweet Lord gently whispers to my soul, "Wait on me...trust in me...put your hope in my promises...be strong my sweet girl... persevere...endure...for what I have for you is far greater than you can imagine. If I show it to you now, the best part of the blessing will be spoiled...trust Me, it's worth the wait"

Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

I love the second part of the verse....he's like...'HEELLLOO...YES.....I SAID WAIT FOR THE LORD!!!'

The journey to our precious Zemirah has us in an unusual waiting period...we don't know for sure when our girl is due...could be 6 weeks...could be 10 weeks...long complicated story so we wait and we just may be very surprised when she decides to arrive :) We are ready and excited...bmama is ready and excited.  So we wait...and wait....and wait....trusting in God's perfect will and timing...trusting that His ways are not mine!  Waiting for the big, beautiful, bubbly bubble :)


After I wrote this post I was telling a friend that I was praying that she would find joy in the wait, the Lord immediately spoke to my heart...I'm talking goosebumps and then tears...We have said all along that the word to best describe our journey to Zemirah would be JOY.  With all that has taken place these last couple weeks...things I can't share...but concerns for her safety...I found myself thinking, "Lord where is the joy in this?"  God so clearly spoke to me this morning through my prayers for my friend..it was crystal clear...FIND JOY IN THE WAIT STACY!!!  FIND JOY IN THE WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Step back and see"

The Lord quickly spoke to my heart today as I was tying to manage our 3-ring circus school day...some days are smooth sailing...some days I'm a ping pong ball bouncing from one kid to the next...today...I was a ping pong ball with a spin ;P

He whispered, "Step back and see....see what a blessing this is....this will only last a short season so soak it in now!"

I did...I stood back...grabbed my camera...I honestly could not believe what I saw through my camera lens...children everywhere...MY CHILDREN everywhere...my treasures...my gifts from the Lord...what a blessed mama I am....

Even if the 14 month old is sitting the middle of the table eating crayons and coloring in everyone's school books...

THIS IS WHY I HOMESCHOOL!!!
To be with my kids...for my kids to be with each other!!

To embrace that the 'lesson' is in the baby...the 'lesson' is how to minister to each other...

Lord, thank you for this amazing reminder...Thank you for gently telling me to step back and to see all that you have blessed me with...thank you for allowing all of these firecracker children to be ours...thank you for calling us to homeschool......

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

HER name ... 12 weeks to go ...

Yes...HER name...I realized I have been neglecting my blog...stupid facebook ;)

We found out our sweet one is going to be a girl.  We are so excited!!

Then commences the name game...Paul and I take naming our kids very seriously and it usually takes us FOREVER....and EVER....and EVER!!!!

As we were talking through names, I decide to reflect on what one word represented each journey to our kiddos and here is what I came up with....


Timothy - LOVE
God had blessed us with great love for each other and we wanted to have a child to share that with...
Trinity - HOPE
our hearts longed for another baby & every part of our being desperately hoped for another child.
Isaac - PATIENCE
his journey was a test of patience because I nearly went crazy every day waiting for 'the call'
Cana - ENDURANCE
endurance is just the tip of the iceberg with her journey but we continually felt challenged to endure her journey in a way that would honor the Lord...even when we were hurting so deeply.
Solomon - PEACE
we knew from the very beginning that we were going to need to be at the feet of Jesus the entire time clinging to the peace that He promised He'd give for the journey ahead us.
Sarah - TRUST
Her story is super unique and we've chosen to keep much of it private for now but we knew the only way we would survive her journey was to put ALL of our trust in the Lord...that His plans were perfect...
Jubilee - CELEBRATION
our journey was short to our sweet Jubilee...our surprise girl...we weren't in the adoption process...then the phone rang with the most amazing news...all we could talk about was how happy we were...the celebration of this sweet one has been incredible

As I was showing this to Paul, he started to write down the fruits of the spirit...it was amazing how it was all lining up...CRAZY COOL!  EXCEPT the 9th fruit of the spirit...
self-control...SERIOUSLY!! Well...that is a post for another day!!!!!!! Grrrrr...LOL...

Back to our sweet girl....
We have about 12 weeks until her due date...
We finally have a name...
We are becoming more attached to her every day...
The word that continually comes to us as we dream of our girl is...
JOY

She will be called....

Zemirah means 'joyous melody'...
Joylena...Lena is our precious bmama's name...
Jubilee's middle name is Lena after her bmama...
God made it crystal clear that her middle name would be Joylena...


Beautiful, precious Zemirah, we can't wait to hold you in our arms. We love you so much!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ETANTR: Sterling's journey

UPDATE: A note from Sterling's papa: As you know our sweet baby girl was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She had a rare tumor that in all likelihood will regrow and again press on her brain as well as reach new areas throughout her spine. The only treatment that can be offered to us here has a very low chance of helping and if she were to survive the cancer and the treatment she would have to live with severe long term effects. 

This post has been very hard for me to write because I know my sweet friend and her family's hearts are hurting so deeply. Honestly, I bawl every time I try...I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of the pain...their fear...their exhaustion...

Praising the Lord that they are clinging to Him!!

Meet beautiful, gorgeous, spunky, brave 2 year old Sterling...
2 weeks ago, Sterling was rushed into emergency surgery for a brain tumor. Two surgeries later, they were able to remove the tumor but the pathology report revealed the most devastating news possible.  Sweet Sterling has a rare, aggressive form of cancer...a cancer that is resistant to chemo...a cancer that rarely responds to radiation and Sterling's little body would not tolerate the amount of radiation needed. She has ETANTR which stands for Embryonal Tumor with Abundant Neuropil and True Rosettes.

Her family would covet your prayers for HEALING...for strength...for PEACE...for direction and wisdom for the unimaginable decisions they have to make for Sterling's care.

PLEASE follow Sterling's journey HERE.  Spread the word...pray...give...
They have set-up an account to receive funds HERE should you feel led to help them financially.

I have created a fundraising necklace for Sterling's family...please consider buying one...click on the pic. and it will take you to Jubilee's Jewels website to purchase it.
Sweet, beautiful Sterling...you are so loved! The Lord has you in the palm of His hands and He will NEVER let you go. You are perfectly and wonderfully created for His purpose. We are praying for God's miraculous healing on your sweet body. HUGS baby girl!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Birthmother Baby Shower

Hello my sweet friends!! We are about 4 months away from our newest peanut being born. The pregnancy seems to be going well and the baby is healthy and strong. Continued prayers for protection would be greatly coveted!

I have been asked by a few friends if they could throw us a baby shower...how blessed am I?? This will be treasure #8 and friends and family are still wanting to shower us...love it.

After much praying, we've decided to do something a little different...
Our hearts are very burdened for "L"...

We want to shower our birthmama!!  
Without going into too many details, I will simply say that we want our birthmama to feel loved...cherished...worthy...prayed for...supported...these are things she has not experienced very much in her life.  We are helping with some of her financial needs but we are realizing that some of her basic needs, like food, are not being met.

So here is our hope...we want to flood her with...
~cards of love and encouragement (doesn't have to be anything fancy)(you can even email me your little note & I'll put it in a card for you)
~a gift basket full of goodies that will make her feel special and pampered during the rest of the pregnancy (you can send items for the basket or I can pick them up)(do you sell Mary Kay...Scentsy...purses, etc.)
~gift cards to wal-mart so she can buy the food she needs and any other things she might need that we don't know about.

If you feel led to help us love on our baby's birthmama (she is also Jubilee's bmama), feel free to email me at wearechinabound@gmail.com.

This will be a 'virtual' show so feel free to contact me with any questions!!!  Our hopes are to send everything to her by early to mid-Sept.  "L" is 39 so that may help you as you decide what you'd like to bless her with.

You can also use the chip-in button on the right hand side and all those funds will go towards a gift card. If you do that, if you would be willing to email me a little note to her...I will put it in a card for you.

Can't wait to watch the Lord pour His love on her through each of you!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

He remembers...

We haven't heard his sweet little chinese (minnan) voice in almost 2 years...he doesn't talk much about China and when he does, it's hard to tell if what he has shared really happened...

We will celebrate his 2 year gotcha in 5 weeks...we thought for sure he would continue to talk to us in minnan for several months (and hopefully longer) once we were home...but nope...once we landed on US soil, He chose to us charades to communicate and no words until he knew the english words....

He came to us at barely 4 years old...excited about having a mama & baba...he came running to meet us...dragging his nanny.  I will NEVER forget the huge smile on his face as he looked up at us for the first time...he has never looked back...

The orphanage director confirmed that there was no possible way for him to know mandarin so our sweet boy came to us with no ability to communicate with his new family....we didn't have the luxury of 2 weeks in China with a guide that spoke his language...talk about full immersion :) but he truly did incredible!

TODAY...today we had the gift of spending time with a precious friend who lives in China. She has played a HUGE roll in helping both of our kiddos home. She was the in-China warrior that the Lord used to help get Cana home...she was relentless in fighting for her...she again fought for us when a situation arose during Solomon's adoption...she has become a very, very dear friend of ours...our sweet Judy. She is in CA visiting and came to church with us this morning (along with her 10yr. old son, 15yr. old niece, and another incredible friend of ours, Sabrina).

Judy squatted down and started talking to Solomon in minnan....he turned pale, got goosebumps, quietly responded to her ...he then quickly hopped into daddy's arms...the look he had on his face was a look that I hadn't seen since we were in China on the orphanage visit.  The visit where he thought we were going to leave him...it brought back so many memories & emotions of those first few weeks. I can only imagine what was flooding through his little head.  We had spent several days with Judy in China with Solomon...the thought that our sweet boy, if even for a moment, thought she was there to take him back to China just levels my heart...oh my sweet son...you are ours FOREVER!!!

Judy looked at us and said, "he remembers...he remembers...he just responded to me in minnan!!"  It was all I could do to hold back the tears...our sweet boy remembers...2 years later he remembers...then as I watched his initial reaction...I started to wonder...what is he remembering?

I immediately praised him...we were all in shock...we honestly thought he had forgotten his birth language...he then hopped into my arms and started calling me "mama" in a baby voice.  I quickly realized that he needed reassurance that it was okay for him to talk in minnan and that I would still be his mommy and that daddy would still be his daddy. A sense of relief fell over his face and he begin to interact more with Judy IN MINNAN...we seriously just all stood there in amazement. He spent the rest of the day telling everyone we saw that he spoke chinese. It was so precious...he was so proud.

Oh my sweet little man...you are the most amazing gift...we love you so much and are so proud of you for feeling safe to remember.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baby Wearing: to hold or not to hold

A couple of days ago I posted this status:
Children all over the world have to self soothe because they don't have the loving arms of a mama....2 of my children never had anyone to rock them to sleep...to wipe their tears...to kiss their sweet cheeks and to hear 'I love you'. I use to buy into the "let them cry it out" but never again. The season that our babes want to actually be held and cradled is short. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you are holding your child too much...that is the most absurd statement...how could possibly love on your babe TOO much?? How could offering comfort, safety, love, and promoting healthy attachment & bonding be a bad thing? God designed our children to need us...they will be on their own soon enough...by holding your babies, your are giving the gift of security and assurance. Such a funny world we live it!


What prompted that fb status? My heart was burdened as I heard a young mama, with great pride, talking about how she is 'finally' letting her daughter cry-it-out. She shared about how the first night it took over 2 hours of her daughter crying before she fell asleep...then 1.5 hours of crying for her nap the next day....then 2.5 hours that night of crying...she was so proud of herself for not giving in and picking up her daughter.  My heart BROKE!!  Was I upset with her...absolutely NOT...society tells her that she is doing what's best for her and for her baby...and she desperately wants to do what is best for her daughter.

You see...I was that mama the first time around....dare I say, almost 15 years ago...man, seeing that in writing makes me feel very old!!! Everyone told me I was spoiling my son because I always held him...that he'd never fall asleep on his own if I always rocked him...that I would never have my own space because he would suffocate me with needing to be held all the time....that he'd never know how to be independent.  It was all well-meaning advice but it was wrong advice.

But being a first time mama and wanting to do everything right, I believed them. I sat on the other side of the door and wept as my baby wept and longed for his mama's arms to hold him....my arms longed to hold him...I remember asking my hubby, 'what am I doing...he wants me...he needs me...' needless to say, that put a quick end to our cry-it-out attempts.

I allowed older, well-seasoned, who honestly wanted-the-best-for-their-children mom's influence my better judgement for our family. I fell into the trap of 'they must know best'. But here is the bottom-line and the reason I am writing this blog post.....

~Only you know the dynamics of your family...only you know your child...if you don't want to have them cry-it-out, then DON'T...it's that simple. The Lord has entrusted you with your child, not your loving friends that are offering advice.  Be confident in your choice, either way and don't feel bad.  I felt so insecure in my decision and I don't ever want another mama to feel that way. Seek the Lord, He will guide you.
~Do I believe that the cry-it-out movement is bad...for my family, ABSOLUTELY...for your family...only you can determine what is best.
~Whether you let your child cry-it-out or not doesn't determine your depth of love for your child...nor does it mean that I think you love your child more or less...my purpose in this post is to offer support for those mama's who are struggling with this decision.

I will say that the cry-it-out method is very dangerous for children that have been adopted older than birth so I beg you to please pray before considering this method. Many have spent their first days...months...years...learning to self sooth and to cope on their own...learning that they don't need anyone in their lives. With lots of love, patience, and time, your job is to teach them...to SHOW them that they indeed do need someone to care for them, especially when they are scared and hurting. By allowing these kiddos to cry-it-out, you are confirming that you aren't going to be there when they need you. Nighttime is a very vulnerable time for most people, especially our kiddos that were adopted after birth.

I urge you to follow your heart and the Lord and be confident in your decision.

Baby wearing has become something very serious and special to our family. Understanding the need for our children to be able to safely explore their environment is also important to us, too Having a child with pretty significant sensory issues, we also know there is a balance...finding that balance will be individualized to each family.

Love your babies...hold your babies...rock your babies...wear your babies...God designed them to need their mama's...God designed you with a special love that only you can give...a special comfort that can only come from you...He also will guide you on the best way to care for your child.


Would you believe that 7 kids later...15 years (eekkk) later...people STILL tell me I hold my babies too much.  I just don't understand how you can hold your baby too much...so weird!!! She doesn't seem to mind being held and I DEFINITELY DON'T MIND holding my babes...I LOVE IT!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jubilee's Finalization

It is final...she is legally ours...she has been ours since the day she was placed in our arms...actually since the first moment we learned about her...but in the eyes of the legal system, she is now legally ours.

Sweet Jubilee girl, we love you so much. You have changed our lives on so many levels and we can't imagine our lives with out you. Happy Finalization Day girlie!!!
  
  

 Daddy and Mommy making it "official".





Celebrating at Krispy Kreme's of course ;)

Friday, June 22, 2012

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

UPDATE: Please go to Linny's blog for an update HERE!


 Parents have been release and reunited with their 2 bio kids...their precious kids the just adopted are STILL in the orphanage!! PLEASE BE PRAYING CONTINUALLY!!! This whole situation is horrific!

From Jennifer Suen Chen, who is Christine Moghadams sister... 'We need to be praying for Monday's proceedings. PLEASE GET THIS OUT FOR PRAYER! Little 2 year old has a fever and they are worried about malaria. E and I are really traumatized. PLEASE PRAY'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is a very precious family in Ghana RIGHT NOW!!! They (along with their 4 and 6 year old) were in country adopting their 4 precious children. With adoption paperwork in hand, ALL of them (YES THE CHILDREN, TOO) were arrested & put in jail on suspicion of child trafficking. The children have been put in an orphanage...yes, their american citizen children, too...I am hearing that the orphanage is a horrific place.

Here is from a friend:
"There is a family in Ghana right now that has been arrested on (unfounded) charges of child trafficking. The family's 6 children (2 bio & 4 newly adopted) have been rendered to the care of a government orphanage while the parents sit in a jail cell in Accra! The bio kids are only 4 & 6 and do not speak the languages of Ghana. The family had their court paperwork with them and the children were all still removed from their parents! PLEASE PRAY for this family!!! The parents' names are Christine & Sol. The US Embassy in Ghana has stated that nothing will be done until Monday, even though there are American born minors affected! PLEASE PRAY for God to intercede and redeem this family! Thank you. 

The family's blog is here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our surprise girl!

It is almost impossible for me to believe that our precious Jubilee is ONE years old today! Our sweet surprise girl...I don't know that I every shared the amazing God story behind her arrival. I know most of you know that we were not in the process of adopting when we got 'the call' about our sweet girl....the call that flipped our house upside down in the most beautiful, incredible way imaginable!!  The call that told us about a precious birthmama who desperately wanted to place her baby for adoption...the precious baby that was due in TWO weeks!

Rewind about 4 months...hmmmm...maybe even a little farther back...Solomon had just come home from China Sept. 2011 and was doing incredible...he was 4 and seriously adjusting as if he had already lived with us his entire life...he clung to us as his family and has never looked back. Hubby and I were honestly amazed at how well he was bonding and felt if the Lord ever called us to adopt again, we would adopt older...we had peace about being done with the newborn phase...we were getting older...our kids were getting older..our 3 youngest were all 4.5 years old...it made complete, logical sense to be 'done' with the baby phase.

Fast forward to 4 months before we got 'the call'. My sister-in-law had just delivered their 8th baby and as I held my precious newborn niece, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Hubby looked at me and asked what was wrong?  I vividly remember telling him, "No matter how bad I want this...I could never have this again..." He looked at me so confused...I was confused...I was truly content with never having a newborn babe in my arms again...so I thought!!  I told him, "God has closed our womb (which I was and still TOTALLY fine with...happy actually because we wouldn't have our babes if He hadn't and THAT is an unbearable thought)...."  these words still resound ever-so loudly in my head, "We have 6 children...there is NO WAY a birthmother would ever choose us to adopt her baby...it just makes me sad to realize and accept that we won't have a baby every again."  I remember hubby telling me, "If the Lord wants us to have a baby, He will give us a baby...He is beyond capable."

Then the Lord smiled and I can only imagine Him to say, "My precious daughter, you have no idea what awaits you....."

The Call....we were in the movies when my husband's phone rang and caller id said, 'Nightlight Christian Adoptions'....Paul looked at me and said, "Why are they calling my phone??"  I grabbed that phone and ran out of the theater....I knew it had to be important if they were calling him.  My precious friend and social worker, Kelly, was on the other line...the first words out of her mouth were, "Are you sitting down?" Those were the same words she said when we were fostering Sarah and she told us that her bmom wanted us to adopt her :)  She started to share about a situation that she felt we would be a good match for and wondered if we were at all open...oh and btw...the baby was due in 2 weeks ;)  I sat there shaking, crying...in complete shock. I remember asking Kelly, "Does she know we have 6 children?" And she said, "Yes...this is her 7th baby and she's one of 12...she is totally okay with that...she just wants her baby in a solid Christian home!!"

2 weeks later our sweet baby girl literally came flying into this world and has forever changed our lives!!


She has brought a such a deep joy to our family!! Oh beautiful baby girl, we love you so much! The miracle you are is such an incredible reminder that God's plan for our lives is GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our little beach girl :)

(to think we are going to be blessed with another baby shortly is beyond our comprehension of God's amazing blessings on our family...we can't wait! I almost can hear a HUGE belly laugh from my Lord when I told Paul about 'the 2nd call' ;)


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Costco & Adoption

It is no surprise that our family does most of their grocery shopping at Costco.  It is probably no surprise that we go at least once a week...I think our oldest could consume our entire pantry in one day if I let him...this teenage boy thing is so new to me (I have all sisters)...it's actually pretty comical to watch how much his 6' 1" - 14 year old boy can eat...YET...he is still as skinny as a rail.  WHY oh WHY doesn't that work for me...I digress...that's a blog post for another day :)

Back to Costco...obviously with weekly trips to Costco, all of the employees know us and especially know and love our kids.  They see us coming and have samples ready to go for all of them (love that!).  Anyways, yesterdays trip was interesting indeed. I sometimes forget that we are quite the mystery as a family every time we step out the door.  People are always trying to figure us out....most don't say anything, they just stare and you can see it all over their faces.  Some are bold enough to ask, "Do you run a day care?" And when I tell them, "No, they are all mine" they are usually satisfied with that answer and tell me how beautiful our family is and how blessed we are...I AGREE!!

Well...yesterday's trip had the normal 3-4 day care comments UNTIL the toast lady!! Still don't know whether I should giggle or steam.  The toast lady (aka Costco sample employee) stops us mid-shopping to offer the kids toast and the conversation goes down like this:

TL:  Hmmmm, let me guess (finger on her chin)...that one...that one right there (pointing to S, our blondie)...now she's yours.
Me: Yep...they are ALL mine.
TL: What, how can that be...they are all yours?
Me: Yes, maam...they are all mine.
TL: Same dad???? (in her loud, theater voice)
Me: YES! Same dad! (now I'm starting to steam...HOW RUDE...I haven't had this question in years and I forgot how much it makes me mad because of all that question implies!!)
TL: Noooo, can't be! What ethnicity is your husband?
Me: (SERIOUSLY...DID YOU JUST ASK ME THAT???) Yes, it can be and it is! He is caucasian. (I was sure her head was going to spin off in disbelief the way she was shaking her head no)
TL: I don't understand how that can be.
Me: We are an adoptive family...and I do have to say that the questions you are asking are rather rude and personal especially in front of my children.
TL: Well, I was adopted, my brother was adopted...I have 2 step brothers...although, I don't call them my step brothers....blahh, blahh, blahh....
Me: Wow, that is wonderful. Nice chatting with you...I need to finish our shopping. (absolutely baffled that if this woman was adopted, how in the world did she not recognize or even consider that just maybe we were an adoptive family, too)

As offended as I was, I couldn't stop giggling about how much fun I could have with that one. My kids even giggled a bit.  After each 'encounter', I like to follow up with my kids and make sure they understand what was happening in that situation and see if they have any questions.

These situations always remind me that we don't look like the typical family and that we are watched closely.  With that in mind...it is so very important that we are an example of Christ in all that we do...even in how I respond to situations like this. MAKE ME MORE LIKE YOU JESUS!!






SERIOUSLY....I get the privilege of being their mama...with one more on the way...it's an absolute dream. Lord, cause our family to bring you glory!!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

#8 :)


It is with incredible joy 
that we share....
that our family is going to be......



blessed with another precious miracle!!

Our sweet Jubilee's birthmama is 3 months pregnant and has asked us if we would adopt the baby and we have said, "YES!!!!!!"  We are all extremely excited and can't wait to hold our new one. It's going to be a LONG 6 months waiting...ya, even 8 kiddos later, I still don't wait well :)

We would love prayer for our sweet baby...for protection...for our precious bmama "L"...for her safety and comfort during and after the pregnancy. For God's financial provision...our agency has drastically reduced our fees (which we are so thankful for) but there will still be fees..."L" is living in another state so we will have some travel costs as well as ICPC cost...and provision for a bigger car...we are maxed out at 9 seats and only have 1 care sooooo, we are looking at needing a 12-passenger van....eeecckkk!


Children are a gift from the Lord; they are reward from him. Psalm 127:3

Blessed is the man who has his quiver full of children....Psalm 127: 5

We are in awe of this precious blessing...in awe of this amazing gift!!




Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Far too long!!

WOW...it has been far too long since I've posted.  I was thinking about what has kept me away and it has simply been life!  I miss each of you....I miss reading your blogs!!!

HOW are you??? Please catch me up...what has the Lord been doing?

We are all doing incredible. We've been keeping busy with school and extra activities...I've been busy taking care of my babes, trying my best to support my hubby's business (need a website...he's your guy ;), training for a marathon (which is this weekend), Jubilee's Jewels....Oh my what an incredible blessing Jubilee's Jewels has been. Our focus has really shifted to helping fundraising families and it's been AMAZING!!! Last month we were able to give $1200 to fundraising families and it looks like we will do the same and possibly more this month. GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!

We are 21 days away from little miss Jubilee turning 1...YES...ONE!!!  I seriously can't believe how fast this year has gone! Oh how I love this girl...she has been one of the most amazing gifts...she is an absolute hoot!

So seriously, please leave me a comment with how you are doing...I would really love to know...I would also love to know if I can pray for you!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Who's children are these anyways?

They are TOO much!!
YES...they are stuck in-between the screen and glass and boy did they and everyone else think it was pretty funny...boogies on the glass and all!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Believe for Brody

26.2 miles Again? Yes!

Crazy? YES!! 
CRAZY about caring for the least of these!! 

God has made it clear that I will be running the San Diego marathon in 5 weeks for a purpose. That purpose...is a beautiful baby boy named Brody. 

s..
(isn't he devine???)

This sweet guy is very special to me because he shares the same medical needs as our Solomon. The only difference...he is in need of an URGENT repair surgery...he has had some major complications with his colostomy. Sweet boy is awaiting the funds so his surgery can be completed under the Love Without Boundaries medical program. Would you please join me in prayer and support for these sweet one?


There are 2 ways you can help financially support Brody's surgery.
1. Make a donation through my marathon fundraising page HERE.
2. Purchase a Believe for Brody Necklace HERE.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Orphan Crisis

Last month, I had the honor of being invited to a Women's Leadership Conference to share at a workshop on adoption. I was asked to share "however the Lord leads".  So, after much praying, it was clear that I was suppose to share about the current global orphan crisis.

It was an incredible time of sharing about this crisis...about how the Lord had as ALREADY told us what to do about the crisis...about how to practically impact this crisis...

Crisis: dangerous or worrying time: a situation or period  in which things are very uncertain, difficult, or painful, especially a time when action must be taken to avoid complete disaster or breakdown.

Seriously you guys...I still can't read that definition without crying!  Does this not perfectly describe what EVERY orphan is experiencing?!  I want to scream it from the mountain tops...these children are headed for DISASTER and we are clearly called to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

I shared the overwhelming statistic of over 163 MILLION orphans worldwide...that # is equivalent to the 7th largest nation in the world...that is a population of MORE than the entire country of Russia...

My first response to those statistics are shock, frustration, anger...then it's grief, brokenness, helplessness...then it's motivation, empowerment, determination!


James 1:27 - Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to care for the orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.


Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.


Psalm 146:9 The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.


Job 29:12 Because I delivered the poor who cried out, the fatherless and the one who had no helper.


Psalm 68:5-6A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in familiesHe brings out those who are bound into prosperity;  But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.


The scriptures are clear...we are to care for the orphan, defend her, relieve her, deliver her, embrace her as our own.  How do we do that?  How do we repair the brokenness? How to we help these precious ones avoid disaster?

Adoption...fostering...respite care...advocating...ministering...sending humanitarian needs...medical care...nutritional care...educational care...mission trips...donating...orphan ministry...meals for newly home families...sewing...running...the list is endless.

Let's get out there and do something...God has called us to act NOW...the need is URGENT!!