Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

Ephesians 1:5-6

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Isaiah 1:17

Saturday, January 18, 2014

From a Insanely Grateful Heart

Oh my fellow readers! I have been wanting to write something like this for so long! I am so so so very thankful for allll of the amazing support we have had, before, through and after coming home!
The amazing donations, time and love through our process. The AMAZING meals people supplied when we came home were SUCH a big help! And you wont believe the number of people who asked if they could take one or more of our kiddos out to play so I could get a few things done or how many friends called or text just to see how we were doing! I even had a friend come and fold my laundry! And I haven't been able to take anyone up on their babysitting all 6 kids yet, but I am blown away by those who have offered!!!! My mom has gone above and beyond to come by when I need it, watch one or more kiddos when we had doctor visits or really just be whatever we need when we needed it. We couldn't have done it without you all!
Thanks for being God's hands and feet and helping support us while we transition to a family of 8! It hasn't been easy or always beautiful, but knowing we are being used of God is an amazing place to be!

<3 <3 <3 THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU <3 <3 <3 <3

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

He Brought Us You

WOW! Been awhile! Obviously we have been a tad more busy these day but I do still plan on trying to keep everything updated.

Well first off  HAPPY 2014! Hard to believe this whole year has been filled with a mind full of adoption prep and we start the new year with our kiddos ALL HOME!
Josh and I feel so very blessed to have them both here! Isac is our happy, lovable charming little boy. He definitely has his moments. He is still learning what no means and how not everything will go his way in this family.  After all of his doctors appointments though he is free and clear of any special needs! We are still waiting to hear though about his high lead counts, I'm assuming since they haven't moved too quick on it it's nothing dire but I'll be happy when I don't have to think about it any more.He and Levi are finding more common ground together, usually if it has something to do with throwing or running around screaming (oiy-vey), but I'm just happy to not see them pushing each other.
Nina seems to be bonding to both of us much more and I see a little but more of who she is every day. Just today she crawled in my lap and literally moved my arms around her body to cradle her. Such a sweet moment as this is a very good sign for kids who are adopted because it means they want to start back from the beginning with you as their mommy. They want to fill in where their lives left off before they were an orphan. And they want you to fill in those spaces. Most all moments with Nina are short as she doesn't sit still long at all! She is very lively and LOOOOVES music! Both her and Isac will jump up at every sound of music and dance around. ARE THEY NOT NOLL'S OR WHAT!!!!!! We still struggle with Nina going to new places, it really makes her nervous but she did better this week in church than the last week and better than two weeks before that, so she's making progress! :)
We also got an official diagnosis for her. It was what her neurologist suspected, Tubular Sclerosis Complex. you can read about it here: Her body has benign tumors on major organs of her body, There are on her brain which is what causes the seizures. (Please pray for this as we are working hard at getting her meds  at a good dose to control the seizures. We are getting very close to being at the max we can give her with what she is on now. I really want to stay far away from brain surgery as much as possible, to control her seizures.) Other places we are having checked out this week are her kidneys and heart. Next month she will have her eyes checked for them as well. There is no cure for it, you usually just treat the symptoms unless they are causing major life threatening issues. Other things it also affects are behavior issues, sometimes kids can be on the Spectrum or have OCD and or act younger (we see this with Nina in some areas). We were pretty shocked as this is more than we had thought. As a mom, it was a tough pill to swallow. What was the hardest for me to grasp was that this special need has sooo many different areas that could and probably would have been missed had our GREAT Creator not seen her and taken her in. Though this was more than we thought, every part of my heart is ready and willing to see her through each and every thing we face together! She is our daughter. I don't know this because she is a sweet happy well adjusted kid, because sometimes, well honestly she is not, i don't know this because she always has nothing but love for us, because sometimes SHE REALLY doesn't yet. I don't say this because, well I'll be completely honest, I have already fallen completely in love with her as if I have always known her, because honestly, just like she is not there yet with us as strangers, I am not their with her yet either. I say this because through every step of our adoption process, I have seen our amazing God move and write ours and Nina and Isac's life stories together. They are our kids because He made it so, and in that I find rest. The rest will come. Though their are days (especially in China) that I wondered, "WHEN GOD?", but they will. And God has blessed me with friends and allll around me who keep reminding me that.

In fact in church we sang this song called Your Great Name by Natalie Grant, sitting there holding Nina and singing the words:

"All the weak; find their strength; at the sound of your great name
Hungry souls; receive grace; at the sound of your great name
The fatherless; they find their rest; at the sound of your great name
Sick are healed; and the dead are raised; at the sound of your great name"

Read more: Natalie Grant - Your Great Name Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

I got CHILLS! Our great and Mighty God loooves this child!!!! He knew she needed a family! He knew and WANTED her to be loved, so HE moved mountains to make it happen! Did you hear me? HE moved those mountains! And I know some of you may be thinking, okay, but there are millions of orphans still waiting. Still starving, freezing, sick and broken hearted. Does He not need or love than any more than Nina and Isac, to bring their families? See the sad thing is He IS! HE wants those children to be loved and healed and happy just as much as our sweet babies. God is calling SO many to step forward, to stop making excuses and saying "I always wanted to adopt", or if only I had a bigger house or more money. The thing is, HE also gave each one of free will to make the choices in our lives. HE wants US to move with our hearts and not be puppets on a string that He plays with, and the sad truth is, so many refuse to listen. And I get it! Adoption is SCARY STUFF ya'll! I don't say that to scare any one out of it, I say it to be true and honest and real! It isn't easy. Kids who have never had love, who get smacked in the face or worse. just because on a daily basis, wont come freely when you call their name, will flinch some times when you try to show them how to use a toy or hold their hand. They will reach for your hand to rub their backs when they are crying and then push it away because they know they want the love and innately know it should be there, but don't know how to receive it. They may rage for a good 15 minute in time out because they don't understand these rules of life and then get so much that they don't know how to calm down and have someone sooth them.because they are used to no one caring about their feelings. It is hard. But I will tell you. It is BEAUTIFUL too! You know when you get the joy to watch an infant find their hands, or the first time they turn their head to their name. OR are wide eyed at everything they see for the first time, that we take so for granted. Or seeing them accomplish a small task and the joy they have at seeing how happy it makes you. Those are the things that are PRICELESS to watch through the eyes of an almost 4 year old! Nina has been there for all those things I mentioned, and the hard things...they are coming. She doesn't flinch near as often, just this week she has learned to let me sooth her and has cried on my SHOULDER! I know it sounds crazy that a crying child would make me happy but oh how my heart was bursting! She was learning to trust me enough to let me sooth her!! We still have a long way to go with both of them, but our God is SO Big! And I pray that anyone reading this will step out! There are SOOO many children waiting! Sooo many children who are begging you, as is God, to be their mommy! 
Please if I can talk to ANYONE about adoption, I will share all I can! Don't be afraid to answer the call! Like a few quote's I'm reading in a book called Kisses from Kate:

"God has a way of using inadequate people, and sometimes He calls us to reach a little higher or stretch a little further, even when we feel we can't do any more. We simply trust him. And then, HE gives us everything we need to do the "more" that He is asking of us."

I am SO not good at this friends. I know and can totally feel God has given me so so much more patients than I have EVER possessed in my life. But you know what, just like when I had 4, there are days when I don't want to remember that patients. I want to scream, cry or just give up. But I see the smile on Nina and Isac's faces. I see the sparkle in Nina's eyes that wasn't there before. He is doing great things, in her and in me! 
I hear from people that we will be forever blessed or that we are so amazing, those comments make me cringe, because (and I promise I'm not trying to sound spiritual) it's not me. I've said it a million times, none of this was us. It was ALL Him. And I still rely on him daily to get through each moment. 
Another quote I love is:

"Sometimes, the everyday routine of my life feels so normal to me. At other times the idea of raising all of these children seems like quite a daunting task. I realized that since I have chosen an unusual path it is easier for outsiders to look at my life and come to the conclusion that it is something extraordinary. That I am courageous. That I am strong. That I am special. But I am just a plane girl from Tennessee. Broken in many ways, sinful, and inadequate. common and simple with nothing special about me. Nothing special except I choose to say "yes". "Yes" to the things God asks of me and "yes" to the people He places in front of me. You can too. I am just an ordinary person. An ordinary person serving and extraordinary God."

I pray that many will realize that God has such BIG plans for each of us! We can all do so much, if we just do something! 

Thanks so much for reading my looooong post! ;) Here are a few cute pictures for sticking with me! :)


loooooves swings! This was at Nana's, the kids got a play set for Christmas!!

Our Christmas card (that got sent out late) Merry Christmas (no I didn't have time to get it done professionally, I am just one crazy mama who thought it was a good idea to dress them up before the Christmas Eve service and take pictures by myself, but wouldn't you know it, THEY ARE ALL LOOKING!!! Christmas miracle!!

silly kids

my girls my girls my girls talking bout MY GIRLS!!

our sweet new blessings

our sweet boys-laid back and crazy! boy I'm in trouble!

Listening to Baba tell the Christmas Story

Christmas morning-all the boys got toy guns!

Likes to climb too...yay

My family parade!

One eats very messy, one VERY neat...for now

on our way to doctor's appointments

Isac's first birthday party to celebrate his little cousin!

My little dancer!

Mama cuddles

you like my pigtails? (all pictures of this sweet girl are done against her will! She doesn't scream or anything, just runs as soon as she realizes what your doing! LOL)

But not this little guy! He LOVES them!

more snuggles


yes I love pudding!

Isac is learning when you have big sister's you need to either join them, or run faster!

first Sunday at church

Gangster Sista's