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

Monday, May 19, 2014

Six Months

Six months already! MAn where has the time gone?..................

Hard to believe on November 13, 2012 Josh and I waited nervously in the the lobby of the orphanage waiting to meet Isac. We were excited nervous and ready to be in the moment so many of our adoption parents had been in before us. We were taken by surprise at how quickly Isac came to us. At first stoic and probably confused, sad and scared but showing no emotion at all. Just hours later when we left the orphanage Isac showed us his smiley, happy laid back personality. He has come so so far! Isac's least favorite thing is to be told no-tell him no, and you may be met with the loudest, highest pitch scream you have ever heard! And it may not go away too quickly. This boy amazes us with his singing in the morning from his bed and his unprompted "pleases" and "thank you's". Most of the time you can find him playing (running around like mad men) with his "bubby". The two of them have become the best of friends! IT IS AMAZING!!!! We worried so much how Levi would handle losing his spot as baby and only boy, and while it wasn't an easy start, I can't even imagine Levi's life any different! Yes, there are moments, where I think Levi misses all of the attention, but we make sure to give him moments where he is the center, but usually he doesn't need it for long before he is running to find "Jun Jun". In fact there are so many times I have caught Levi trying to "save" Jun Jun. If Isac gets too close to the water for Levi's comfort, Levi will try and push him back. Of course this isn't usually met with gratefulness from Isac HA!. but it is cute. :) These two virtual twins even have their own language! They can be heard saying things like "WAKE UP" which the other repeats then they scream! LOL! No one knows what they are talking about, but they seem to!

 On November 17, 2013 in walked Yu Bao Yan. Since we had such an easy gotcha with Isac, we were now aware it could be more possible than we had thought. But Nina likes to keep us on ours toes. When she realized that a big change was about to happen, that she had no control over, she was not happy about it! True to Nina, she was a fighter who had grown to learn the hard way, that if you needed to protect yourself, you needed to fight hard yourself! Though a mighty protector of self, she is also a very sweet child! After walking out the door, she gave up the fight and only hours later was laughing and smiling with us! This child has NOT been the easy one, but man how she has made me a better mom! She forgives with in seconds, she LOVES affection, and she sometimes takes more patients than I ever knew I had! All of those things have stretched and grown me! Nina is sweet, happy, LOVES to talk (though her language is coming slow so you really have no idea what shes saying), and knows what she likes! She still has a very strong defensive wall she will put up if she feels like she needs to, but I have slowly seen her rely on Josh and I to protect her and make her feel safe. Nina LOVES to play with her sisters!!! I know a lot is lost in translation as she can't really converse with back to them, but she loves to laugh and giggle and follow a long with them, and sometimes even the boys when they get crazy! :) She and Levi sometimes butt heads more often, but I think it is because they are pretty much a like. :)

Adoption is so much more than I ever imagined! It is humbling, exhausting, heart breaking, motivating, and eye opening! To see and hear my kids asking for us to go back again to give another child a home, when they now know the cost to them, is just amazing! To see their love for Isac and Nina, as if they had been born of my body, is just mind blowing! 

I can not wait for the day out Lord calls us back to adopt!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Made To Be So Much More

Things I am learning...

I have never been one who thought I had a lot of patience...I still am not sure I display all that i should have in me, but I have seen so much more in me now that I ever have before. how is that? Where did it come from?

Before I started this journey into adoption I doubted many times I had the patience I needed for the four children I had. Sure many thought I must have a lot of it to have four small children and home-school them all. But those weren't choices I made. Those were things God told me to I did. Easy? Absolutely not, but I was always one to obey authority. :) Okay not ALWAYS!
Since being home, three months later I started to feel like a literal fog was lifting from my head. I was starting to see and feel life again. I could now see the things I did not see before. God HAD indeed given the things I needed to care for 6 small children! It is the only way I can explain not losing my head with so many small children. HE gave it to me. It is the only way I can explain being able to get together sensory games together for my four littles and working on colors and numbers and touch. Does that mean I have it all together every day? Absolutely not! I still have days where I’m dragging and nothing gets accomplished. But I'm also learning when to do more and when to do less. Not everyday needs to be a “fun day”.  

So when God called us to this journey I believed HE would provide the funds. Did I get nervous at times how it would be done, you bet, but I didn't doubt He would do it. But believing the energy and patients for six kids, that was a whole nother story. How was I going to do it?! Where was it going to come from?! Two of the six needed even more on top of the four I already had! Lord where and how am I going to accomplish this everyday?!

Now as I look back and the fog has lifted, I see it. He never expected ME to do it on my own all alone in the first place! HE gave me the energy and patience just like He promised when He said all I need to do is say YES and HE would provide all that I needed to accomplish His work. Why oh why did I not believe Him for those things?

Truth is because I now realize I trusted myself for those things daily. I try to do them in my own flesh...which is pretty impossible and ridiculous when He is SO much more capable than I.

So to any of you who have asked how do you do it and I say one day at a time…that is why you get that answer. I cant do it, so I rely on HIM one day at a time.

For those of you who ask are we done answer is probably not. The Lord has given us a huge heart for these children. And before you say it,  I know, I know, we can’t save them all, and we don't intend to try in the realm of bringing as many as we can home with US. BUT I do know He is not done with us bringing kids into our family. When will that be… I have no clue. I know right now we are still getting the kids into their normal and we still have a ways to go in getting Nina’s seizures figured out, so it will not be this year, that much I can give you. :)

getting a little too close
As far as an update on Nina and her seizures, we are still working on them. We started her on a new medicine a few months ago. Seizure medication is pretty tricky as you can’t just stop one to start the other. You have to wean off one while your weaning onto the other one, and you have to base it on how many seizures she is having. So it means watching how many seizures she has, calling the doctor and waiting for her to tell you to change them. A few weeks later get blood work done to check the levels of the medicine in her blood, and repeat. It is a loooong process, that may never be done because as soon as the medicine starts really working and all seizures are figured out, she will most likely grow out of the dosage she is one. :/ Unfortunately, as many have asked, surgery is not really an option right now as it is a last resort. The tumors are part of her brain and removing them would be like removing part of her brain. When and if it is an option, only parts of the tumor will be removed.
Unfortunately the medicine does have some side effects for a few weeks while her body is balancing itself out, but Nina is one tough little girl and together we are getting through them.

Ah, an update. So I wrote this post like a week ago and didn't get around to posting has a way of happening like that...but a funny thing happened. We had just changed Nina’s meds so she was having a very difficult week. She can get very irritable making my days a um...difficult. So that added with Levi deciding he was going to have a “fun” week on top made my “patient” post hard to hit send. Things were CRAZY and I lost my patience that I had written about earlier.

I thought how in the world can I hit send when I don't feel that patience I wrote about?! Where did it go?! Why oh why are things going backwards when I thought I was finally getting my feet on the ground?!

Truth is, it was still there. Unfortunately life isn't always easy. I have the three year old having to deal with her new life on top of understanding and dealing with the fact that she is always tired and just doesn't feel right. One 2 year old who is still finding his place in the family and coming down with a cold and another 2 year learning that things don’t always happen the way you want right away. Yea, it is a recipe for a HARD week. But that happens when you have kids, kids have bad weeks, growth spurts, times of sickness and when more than one struggles with any of these things, motherhood takes a hit. It’s exhausting.

new hair cut
Though when I lay next to Nina at night, I thank the LORD I have the chance to stand in the gap for her, rub her sweet face and sing to her how much God loves her more than anyone EVER could. I thank the LORD I get to be the one listen to Isac’s little voice tell me stories that make no since at all! And of course the Lord has already blessed me with four other children who I get the honor of calling my kids.

I guess I sum it all up to say, biological, fostered or adopted, motherhood is HARD! It is exhausting and confusing and it PUSHES ALL of us! But I am SO thankful and grateful I have a God who promises to ALWAYS give us what we need through EVERY circumstance!!  I could have made every excuse in the world to parent the four I have, and no one would have blamed me one bit for staying where I was...comfortable. But God wants MORE from all of us so that He can make us SO much more. And what a blessing to have a front row seat to see HIM push me to be EVEN MORE!

Ephesians 3:16-21

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

James 1:2-4

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.