Friday, December 30, 2011

Inspire Others!

"Just one person taking action can inspire others to do the same."
-Leslie C. Aguilar

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Words Are Not Enough

I have shared many times about Katie and her families journey to adopt her.  This little girl grew up in a horrible orphanage run by a director that did not do her job.  Her actions caused many children to suffer unnecessarily under her care.  Today I heard some great news, no FANTASTIC news.  This women has been removed of her duties!  The children in that orphanage are getting a second chance.  Praise God!!!  Because I don't want to miss any of the great details please click here to read the post yourself.  Before you go to this blog I want to make sure I point out the fact that this orphanage was a poor example of the care that this country seeks to provide their orphans.  I know I am quick to report the negative truths so I want to also take this time to point out the positive truths in this story.  Bulgaria's government does care for their orphans and does their best to meet their needs and desires for these children to find a family.  This is an important fact to know.

There are no words to express the joy and awe in God I feel right now.  He is truly an AWESOME GOD!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Great News

In my last post I mentioned little Kolina, the little girl who is waiting for her family.  Guess what!  God did it again!  Kolina's family found her and she will be joining them sometime in 2012!!!  I am so excited about this.  Another precious child saved!

Sweet girl you will know what love is and have a warm home to call yours.  I hope I get to see a smile on your face sometime soon.    Praising God!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another Child Waits

As I followed the Musser Family on their journey to pick up Katie I was moved in so many ways.  This little girl waited 9 years to find her family.  NINE YEARS!!!  She was neglected in so many ways.  I have come to realize that the neglect comes from lack of funds and people to care for these little ones and yes, sometimes people just don't care.  It breaks my heart.  These precious children sit in their cribs all day, literally.  They are usually drugged so they remain calm.  They get fed only a couple of times a day and get only 600 calories.  These children are fed laying down and have to gulp down milk from a bottle that is not suitable for any child.  It is literally an old beer bottle with a huge nipple.  The hole in the nipple is big so the children eat fast.  They are left soaking in diapers and when they are changed it is so abrupt and fast that the child child barely gets attention.  These facts make my heart ache.  I ache because no one is lovingly holding these children, stroking their precious faces telling them what a gift they are.  No one is looking deep into their eyes confirming their worth.  No one is playing with them and stimulating their bodies, so they stop growing.  Children literally stop growing when they are neglected.  When our bodies are taken care of there is a growth hormone that is released.  These children stop producing that hormone and then stop growing.  So sad.

Josh and I have had many conversation about these situations.  I always walk away from these conversations reminded that God does not leave these children alone.  He tells us in His Word that He takes care of the orphans.  And so I know even if it seems like these children are in a bad place God is there with them.  It breaks His heart that children are treated this way.  He longs to see these children cared for more than I do because He loves with a perfect love.  More importantly He wants these children to know Him!  To know that this physical body is temporary.  To know that when they reach heaven all this earthly stuff will go away.  He LOVES them more than we can fathom!!!

I know this because if we are willing to open our homes to a waiting child God will provide all we need to do it.  God will provide the funds, the agency, the direction and he will carry you through the process.  I know because it's happening with us too.

See for yourself the promise of God to love the orphans. 

Katie being loved by her sister.

Maria with her siblings.

I was motivated to write this post because of the many children who are still looking for their "Forever Family," particularly a nine year old girl who is included among the children Reece's Rainbow is seeking to place. If you believe your home is a place for one of these children, you can visit their website at Reece's Rainbow. (You will see the little girl I'm talking about here.)

Until her family finds her I know that Father God is sustaining her. He will hold her through the wait.
Bless you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Answers Sent Off

We have answered all of the questions from the Hong Kong Immigration Office. Our agency reviewed our answers and have sent the papers back to Hong Kong.

Please pray that there are no more delays in this process. As we have obeyed, God has provided everything we have needed to this point. We now wait excitedly and expectantly for His continued provision for the rest of the adoption.

At the beginning of this process Josh and I were going to give some money we had in savings because I felt that if people were going to support us financially I had to put something into it as well. As I began to plan for taking our savings out, God told me that we were not to give toward the adoption. He clearly told me that I was to watch how He was going to provide for the adoption. Then again after getting our tax refund I had a bill and thought we should use that money because we had it. Again God reminded me that I was not to give any money toward the adoption. I was to watch how He was going to provide. He truly has been faithful and kept His promise! Recently I have been struggling a bit as the process moves forward and the provision has yet to move from God's hands to ours. However, I know what God said and I have no doubt He will continue to provide!
Please pray with us that God would show Himself mighty again and again in this process as He has promised, and look forward with us to the continued testimony of His faithfulness!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Orphans No More

Do you remember the families I have shared about, the Zuzunaga Family who are adopting from Russia and Joe and Susanna who are adopting Katerina, the little girl who is so tiny.

I am so excited to share that the Zuzunaga Family brought Maria home on Saturday!YAY  I have seen some pictures and she looks so happy.  Maria has found her forever family!!!

Joe and Susanna are currently in Katerina's country but she is with them!  No more horrible orphanage for this sweet girl.  She is now with her daddy and mommy!  She is safe in the arms of her forever family!  You have to check out the precious pictures here!  It brings be so much joy to know that one less child is suffering at the hands of caregivers who just see her as an object.  This little girl is going to do some mighty things in her life just like Maria.

These two girls are amazing and I am so blessed by the faith and commitment of their families who pressed on and pushed forward even through the rough patches of thier journies.

Praising GOD for His Glorious Victories!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Paperwork Officially Reviewed in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's Social Welfare Department has reviewed our home study.  We know this because they sent a letter wanting us to answer some questions.  They had lots of question about the services we have for children with Down syndrome.  They also asked about Hannah's development and her schooling.  They had some other questions too.  At times it seems like the process gets delayed by things like this yet I'm grateful that they don't want Jed to go to just anyone.  They want him to have a good home where he will flourish and have everything he needs. 

So now we wait to see what they have to say about our responses. 

More waiting........but that's OK.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Love This Quote

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid. -Einstein

Friday, October 28, 2011

Moving Forward

I received some good news from our agency the other day.  Remember they told us we could bring Jed home but would need to have a three bedroom before they would allow the adoption to be finalized?  We'll, because Jed is so young they are no longer requiring us to move.  YAY!!!  Although I was not stressed about this, because God always provides for our needs, it is nice to take this off our list of things to do.  We do recognize that we will eventually need to move simply because boys and girls should not share a room.  So for now we remain content in our home!

Our paper work is now in the hands of the Hong Kong government.  We hear they work slowly but continue trust that God will move the process as He sees fit.  After their government approves our family we go back to our government and get their approval to bring Jed home.  I'm a little annoyed about this back and forth stuff but again I realized the importance of the process and will be patient.  Since these steps still need to be done we will not be traveling until some time in February.

I will leave you with a new favorite song of mine...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Update With No Real News

I have been asked several times about what is going on with the adoption.   Right now our paper work is being reviewed and processed in Hong Kong.  (This process can take a few months.)  I know this because they called our agency with a question we needed to respond to.  For us it's just more waiting but we're used to it now.  Since we have absolutely no control over the process I find that being patient is the best thing to be.  We see Jed everyday, in photos, but I still find myself relaxed about the wait.  For me it's like his picture is just a really good ultrasound and instead of him being ready to be born, I'm waiting for a travel date.  I still look forward to the phone call when I tell everyone it's time, the babies coming and we are going to the hospital airport.

Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How Grandma Feels

My mom and I were talking about the adoption when I decided to ask her how she feels about Jed.  I was honestly not sure what kind of reaction I was going to get because we have never been through anything like this before.  My mom shared, with me, a conversation she had with her Step-Mom about how she wasn't sure how she was going to feel.  (I believe this conversation took place before we had any photos.)  My Step-Grandmother told my mom that she would love this little boy because I love him.  I thought that was so beautiful.  I can't really put into words why but it was a powerful statement for me.  My mom then shared how she looks at all the pictures, of her grandchildren, on the shelf and that Jed just seems to fit right in.  I was so happy to hear this because that's how we feel. 

Our sweet boy all the way in Hong Kong is perfect for our family and I look forward to the day I get to wrap my arms around him.  I'm sure it will be one of the most priceless moments of my life!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sarah's Heart

Our oldest daughter, Sarah, was writing little notes to/for Jedidiah, in a book she started, and I have to share them with you.  Sarah is such a treasure and after you read her notes you will see why.

Dear Jedidiah,
Whenever you read this book I hope you enjoy it.  I worked so hard to make a wonderful book about you.  I love you Jedidiah nathan Weitzman.  Your precious to me.

Dear Lord, 
I would like you to help Jed to know you and worship you all of his life.  And when he grows he will share the word of God.  In the name of the lord Amen.

I am so glad to have you.  I loved to see your little body.  I am Sarah your big sister.  I couldn't wait till you came and the whole family got to see you.  They were very excited.  I love your smile.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

In honor of Down syndrome awareness I want to share a few blogs with you.  These blogs are honest and I enjoy the way each writer expresses themselves.  I hope your blessed by these women's lives and stories.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

He is Ours

Now that we have seen our son, I have been revisiting my previous struggles regarding how I would know for sure if any child they would refer to us was the one. I really had a hard time with this concept until I saw our Jed. The best way for me to explain would be to have you imagine staring into the nursery at the hospital, after you've given birth, and the nurses asking you if you wanted another child instead of yours. Your immediate response would be, "No way are you crazy." Well this would be my response now! Not that the other children aren't precious, but they are not your child. That's how I feel about Jed. I walk by our frames of pictures that include the girls and Jed, and he just fits right in. We don't look at him any different than we do our girls. My only thought is that it's weird that he is not with us. And now I can't even imagine the agency referring another child to us. That thought has completely gone away. Like the other children in the hospital nursery, I know that Jed belongs to us and that God has other families for the children who are still at Mother's Choice, the orphanage in Hong Kong. Jed is ours! I don't know how God does these amazing things, but He does, and I'm so glad I am a part of this beautiful plan!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


So, we let the agency know that we want this little boy.  Now they will fill out the official paper work stating we accept the referral, we get some papers notarized and then our agency sends them to Hong Kong.  We still need Hong Kong to accept this referral, but we are confident that God has His hand in the situation and all will go smoothly.

About Jedidiah:
He is just adorable!  I wish I could post his pictures but I'm not allowed to yet.  He is five months old and weighs 11 1/2 lbs.  So tiny, like Hannah was.  Because I am not sure how much info I am allowed to share online, I won't post his name (his American name from Hong Kong), but will tell you its meaning, "Lord".  This is really cool to us because the name we gave him, Jedidiah Nathan, means "Loved by the Lord".   He looks really happy and healthy but was born with congenital heart disease, AVSD.  This is very common in children born with Down syndrome and is easily fixed with surgery. Please pray for healing!   I do not worry about his care because he is in a great place and is getting regular check ups.

Josh is in love and I mean in love.  It has been really neat to watch him through this process.  I must be honest and say that although I am very excited about this my heart is still a little guarded.   I love this little guy and can feel my expression change when I look at him.  If you're a parent you know what I mean. It's the way my eyes and heart change when I look at my girls.  Have you ever noticed the difference between looking at your kids and other kids?  I have watched other parents and it's like their eyes light up when looking at their own children.  Excuse the rambling, but I'm trying to make myself clear.  I'm still not sure it worked, but I tried!  Anyway, I also know that it will be months until we get to hold, kiss, and love on Jed, so keeping my emotions in check is important for me because if I don't these next months will be torture.  The girls on the other hand are so excited!  They begged us to say yes and screamed when we told them we already did.  They want to show everyone his picture and I can see their love for him already.  Hannah is excited too.  She can't verbally express how she feels, but she is signing about the baby and points to his picture a lot. 

I will leave you with this quick story.
Julia brought home a class assignment a few weeks ago where she had to practice writing numbers by answering some questions.  A few questions were -- What is your home address?-6039, How old are you?-7, How many people live in your house?-5, How many sisters do you have?-2, and then this question, How many brother do you have?-Julia answered 1.  I was so touched by this because this little guy has been growing in her heart for so long.  Even before we got a referral she knew that her brother was in Hong Kong.  So of course answering 1 was natural for her!

I love all that God is doing in our family!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We Finally Meet Our Son!

Yesterday, I received a call from our agency asking if we would be interested in a little boy.  They sent over his file and two pictures.  I will give more details once it all settles in my brain and I can express all that is happening.  I will say he is adorable and we love him so much already!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Are Approved!

We have been approved by Homeland Security!  This is great news.  I spoke with our agency and they are e-mailing Hong Kong today.  The next step is getting a referral for a child.  We will soon meet Jedidiah, our son. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Two Important Realities

The first reality hit when I saw the faces and read the stories of children with Down syndrome waiting to be adopted on Reece's Rainbow.   I saw these precious faces and I wept, long and hard.   It breaks my heart into a thousand pieces knowing that these children were/are not wanted simply because they have Down syndrome.

The second reality came when I learned about all the wonderful families who do want these children and who are willing to do whatever it takes to bring them home. Families who have fallen in love with a child regardless of an extra chromosome and gave them a Forever Family.   These are the stories that help put my heart back together.

I would like to share one of these amazing families adoption journey with you.

Joe and Susanna are currently in the process of adopting a little girl with Down syndrome.  Her name is Katie and she is beautiful.  Unfortunately, Katie has not been given the proper care (to put it mildly) and at nine years old appears to be more like a baby.  When I first read about this families adoption my heart had such mixed emotions.  At one level my heart was breaking apart and at the same time I felt such joy for what Katie had, a family she would soon call her their own.  A daddy, mommy and siblings who would love her.  Most importantly a family that would show Katie who she is in God's eyes.  Katie is beautiful and perfect! Katie is going to have so much joy.  It will be a great day when she is finally home.  I want to share a video that Susanna posted on her visit to see Katie.  Grab a tissue!

The joy in Katie's smile is priceless.  I can’t help but imagine these two sitting in the presence of Father God.  What a precious moment.  You can follow this families adoption journey by clicking HERE.   Click Here to see more picture of this sweet girl!

God has placed a strong desire in me to adopt more children.  Children like Katie who desperately need a family. We will adopt more children.  I will be honest, even at the thought of adding a fourth child to our family I am sometimes overwhelmed.  I have said to God, "Really, another child, can I do this?"  But my fears and doubts are quickly erased when I return to a Kingdom focus.  Life is not about now.  Life is about preparing to be with God.  When I think about that I no longer feel anything but a strong desire to do what God asks.  To bring any child God's asks me to love into our home.  I am also very passionate about praying for orphans and for the caretakers.  There are many countries that starve and neglect children under their care.  Children will literally bang their heads against their cribs just to get stimulation.  These are horrible ways for any one to live.  It is unfathomable that some places only treat the children with special needs this way.  My prayer is that hearts will be changed.  Eyes would be opened.  That these countries would no longer abuse these children but find that every life is worth love.  I know God can change a persons heart!  He can move mountains!  He tells the oceans were to stop!  He created the sun for day and a moon for the night!  I am very confident He can change even the hardest of hearts!  I serve a mighty God.  A God who see more than I see and knows the need of each child even before I ask for His help.  A God who I love and will serve and obey.  A God the is a Father to the fatherless.  A God who tells us in His Word that He takes care of the orphans.

I love my God!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Trip Three of Three

Our last trip was planned for Julia.  For months she has been telling me that she wants to go to a hotel and spend the night with me.  What a perfect way to show her how special she is.  Our trip started with a stop at the farmer's market, Avila Farms, Josh and I went to on our trip.  Only Julia was not that interested in looking around.  She wanted to feed the animals!  She fell in love with the little goats so we bought five bags of food.

This little goat(above) seemed to really like Julia.  He kept wanting her to pet him.  I wish I could have recorded all her oohs and ahhs.  It was really cute.

We went on the hay ride and saw berries growing.  We both wished that we could pick some to eat. 

(Look at the boy behind us doesn't he looked thrilled!)

And of course we got Julia some ice cream!  Yummy!

While on the hay ride I told Julia that I had another surprise for her.  She wanted some hints so I told her "PINK".  She had no idea what I was talking about.  I figured she wouldn't.  Anyway, on the ride over, to our next surprise, I struggled to come up with the perfect way to share the secret and came up with a plan.  Here's what I did.....

I pulled into the inn parking lot and stopped.  Julia asked me if this was a place to sleep.  I answered with a simple yes and said quickly that there was a lot more to do too.  She was content with that answer, still unaware.  I went to the back of the car and asked her to come help me with something.  I was pulling out our suitcase and planned on asking her to help me carry it to our room.  She came around the car more confused than before and smiled.  I asked her if she knew what the suitcase was for and she said, "yes but I'm not going to tell you".  This is Julia's way of expressing that she really doesn't know for sure.  I asked her if she would like to stay here for the night and she said yes, she screamed with excitement, jumped up and down and screamed again.  Oh the look on her face!!!

I bet you would like to know where we stayed huh?

(The sign makes this place look cheese balls but trust me it's not)
If you have never seen or heard of this place you have to check out their website  HERE.  We stayed in room 173, Floral Fantasy.   Check the room out HERE .

Julia loved the room! We spent time at their amazing pool and jacuzzi (Julia's favorite part). Ate at there pink steak house ( which is like eating inside pink frosting, check it out HERE), we looked at their shops and Julia rode her bike on their trail.

Julia and I both fell in love with their cool chairs. The colors are so fun.

We played Chutes and Ladders and Connect Four (seven times each game because Julia is
turning 7-Julia's idea!).  Julia wore the rob from the room and owned it.  She had so much fun.

Julia was really cute.  She wanted to keep all the doors in the room closed because "then there is more pink".  I love how she pays attention to detail.

And look at this...

a pink bike rack!  It doesn't get better than that.

Julia and I had some really special moments. I wish I had time to write about them all. I am happy to know that she felt loved and very special! Every moms wish.

PS  I decided that I can't leave this one precious moment out of our story.  Shorty upon entering the room Julia noticed a picture on the wall with a mother and daughter sitting in a garden.  She instantly told me, " Look at this picture, it's perfect for us because it's like you and me".  If that doesn't melt a mamma's heart I don't know what will.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trip Two of Three

The second trip was the one Josh and I took alone to Morro Bay.  We have not been on a trip alone since I was pregnant with Hannah and I don't really count that trip as going alone.  This trip, however, was just the two of us and it was a blast.  We stayed at The Inn at Morro Bay and I could not have asked for a more perfect place for us.  It was quiet and charming.  This is my favorite vacation spot now!

This was the view from our room.

Although we did not have a total bay view we could still see the rock and we enjoyed the trees and sky that we could see.  We slept with the door and shutters open.  It was very bungalow beach feeling.  I loved it!  Here's the view of the sunset from our room.  Beautiful!

We went on some great bike rides too.  We rode five miles to the area Josh would like to retire someday. 

We walked on the beach and took some great pictures.  The camera really made this outing fun.

I had coffee in a glass mug.  I don't know why but it felt very fancy and I loved the way it looked.  So fresh and cheery.  Strange perhaps but look!

We ate at some really neat places.  On our last morning we had breakfast at the little coffee shop called Coffee Cottage that overlooked the bay.  Then we bought Taffy and I took more pictures.

On our way home we made a few stops because we wanted the day to be full of "us" time.  Our first stop you will learn more about in the next post "The Third Trip".  Then it was off to Avila Beach where we walked the pier and ate lunch.  The pier was kind of creepy because the boards had about an inch and a half gap between them.  We both felt like we would fall through.  I know it's impossible but it still made us uncomfortable.

Our last stop was this great farmer's market just off the freeway at Avila Beach.  They had an ice cream shop, vegetables, candy, jam, homemade pies, animals, hay rides and a whole lot more.  We will definitely be going back to bring the girls.

The best part about this trip was reconnecting with each other.  We spent a lot of time enjoying each others interests, for Josh cycling and for me learning to take good pictures.  It's not a trip I will soon forget!!!

Wish we were there now!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Trip One of Three

Since baby number four will be here "soon".  Josh and I thought it would be a great idea to take Sarah and Julia on a special trip, individually, and for us to take a few days away.  So here's what happened.

Trip number 1....

Sarah's day came first.  We surprised Sarah with a day in Solvang.  We started out with lunch at her favorite restaurant, Paula's Pancake House, so she could get the omelet she calls "the best omelet ever"

We then headed over to the main street so we could find the Surrey rentals.  This was so much fun.  We laughed a lot, pedaled a lot and made Sarah happy.

After our fun ride we decided to get some ice cream and check out the local shops.  Isn't she cute.

Then we went to the miniature horse farm.  The horses were so cute.  Sarah wanted us to take one home and didn't think $2000.00 was very much to spend on one.  At least she got to pet one!

On our way to the farm we saw this really cool park so, you guessed it, we stopped and played on our way back.  It had the coolest swing I have ever seen.  I even enjoyed it!  We played hide and seek and Josh spun her on the tire swing.  She had a blast!

It was a perfect day for Sarah.  She loves to go go go and that's just what we did.

Trip number two coming soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

September 6th

We received our letter from Homeland Security with the date for our fingerprints.  Yep, you guessed it, September 6th.  Things are definitely moving quicker this side of the home study. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Our garage sale started right at 8am and ended just before 11am.  This is what the start of the sale looked like.....

About an hour later a very sweet neighbor brought the girls some plants and spices to sale too.  She also bought some bread.  This made Julia's day.  She was so excited that someone was buying something.

As time went on we had a few adults come by and buy some bread and someone bought both plants!  After a little while the girls got very silly and a little bored from sitting around.  Sarah got creative with her time....

At the end of the sale we had a good laugh about the fact that we sold no toys, only bread and plants.  It was a great experience for the girls.  I call this a success because the girls had fun!  I also got to sit with them and talk about life.  We made lots of memories!!!  An added bonus was getting to know the heart of a neighbor we barely know.  God made good things happen yesterday!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mini Garage Sale

The girls decided a few months ago that they wanted to have a garage sale.  They wanted to give me the money for the adoption!  My girls are PRICELESS!!!!!  Julia made clay furniture at school and wants to sell them for $9.00, $6.00 and so on.  I didn't know what to do because I wanted to support them but know that people will not pay as much as they would like to charge for the items they have to sell.  It's so hard when your children's hearts are in the right place because I don't want to crush their desire to help.  Julia would love to get lots of money for us.  So after talking with a friend and thinking about it for these few months we have decide to let them have the garage sale, this Saturday form 8-11, but they will need to price their items at appropriate garage sale prices.  I worry that no one will come and they will feel disappointed.  Unfortunately, I can't control the out come of the sale but I can support them and make sure they have fun reminding them how sweet they are for thinking this up in the first place.  We may even bake something to sell?

I will let you know what happens.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


We went this morning to process our paperwork for our passports!  I got butterflies just before pulling into the driveway.  This seemed silly but with each step we take I know it's one day closer to bringing our son home.  Things really seem to be moving quickly.  The check for immigration was cashed so our paperwork must have arrived and hopefully is being processed.  We should hear from them within 30 days.  I will keep you posted!

PS  We have taken some pre-adoption trips that I will share about once the final trip is done.  You won't want to miss this.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Papers Have Been Sent!!!

I just went to the mail and found a copy of our home study and a letter stating that our documents have been sent out, one to immigration and the other to Hong Kong. YAY!  We should hear from immigration within 30 days and may soon be matched with a child.  Not just any child but our son, Jedidiah!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Should Hear Soon!

We are waiting for a final signature from the home office reviewing our home study.  This is a very exciting step.  I did confirm that once the signature is in all of our paper work will be sent to Hong Kong.  This is our Hong Kong application.  They will then review everything and get back to the agency.  At this same time our home study will be sent to immigration.  If they approve us we will receive dates to be finger printed, AGAIN, for their clearances.  The really exciting news is that we may not have to wait to hear back from immigration(this takes approx.30 days) before we get matched with a child.  The agency said they will see what children are available that fit our criteria(have Down syndrome) and call us for a viewing of the file. 

I am ready to see our son! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Design

I decided to change a few features about the blog today.  I'm sure you noticed.  Although I really liked the design with the black and white I felt that it wasn't real happy.  I want to come to this blog page and see something that makes me feel cheery.  I plan on making a few more changes once I figure out how to make it happen.  Until then I hope you enjoy the brightness of this color as much as I do.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Here's The Latest

I received the following e-mail from our social worker last week........

Hi Jamie,

I wanted you and Josh to know that your homestudy is moving along nicely through the review process. We are hopeful that all of the reviews will be completed by 7/11. I will keep you posted! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Thank You.

Friday, July 1, 2011

End of Week Two

It has been two weeks since our homestudy was sent to Modesto for review.  If things are on track this means we should be hearing from the agency sometime next week.  I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review Time

Our homestudy is already being reviewed by the home office in Modesto.  Our social worker sent an
e-mail with this news.  She is also going to find out what the next steps will be in our process. 

I am starting to think more about the matching process again and honestly it makes me very uncomfortable.  My thoughts go something like this...... How will we know that this is our son?, What if we say yes to the first match and God has another child for us?, Will it be as obvious as me looking at my daughters for the first time?, Will I have that instant connection when I look at him?.  Josh keeps telling me will know when we see him.  I still hope that the first match is our son.  I refuse to be the parent that tries to pick out their child!  I want God to have done that already, just as he did with the girls. 

I also know that no matter what this in between process feels like we will love our son no less than we love our girls.  He will be our son from the instant we are matched and I will long for him like I longed to meet each one of the girls.  He will be our fourth precious child.

Looking forward to all that's coming!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Homestudy Complete!

I received a phone call from our social worker, Leeann, yesterday.  She asked me a few questions and told me she was finishing our homestudy and would be sending it off to the home office in Modesto that night.  This is a huge step in the process.  Lee Ann told me that it will take about 3 weeks for me to receive a copy of our homestudy but that we would probably hear from the home office sooner. 

I have, and will remain, content in waiting knowing that sometimes things take longer than expected. All the while trusting God as the directer of this journey and knowing that when He is ready for us to take the next step He will make His plans clear to us.

Praising God for all He is!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hello Again

Hello again.  I received an e-mail from our social worker stating that she has made good progress on our homestudy.  This is good news, I hope.  I hope to be blogging more in the next few weeks with more information. 

 I have another song I want to share with you.  This song speaks so much to my heart and my desire to do my part in God's plan.  Although I think prayer is the most powerful thing we can do, God calls us to action as well and it's important that we obey when that call comes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wanted: Three or Four Bedroom Home

So we will be moving into a bigger place soon, one with at least three bedrooms, probably four.  We're not sure the exact location, but according to our adoption agency we can't finalize the adoption until we are living there.  Jed can come home, and he will, but the process will only be completed sometime after we move.

It's very exciting to know that part of God's provision of a son is the bigger house we have always wanted.  It's also fun to walk in faith that makes other people just shake their heads and think, "Those people are crazy!" (A quality we told the social worker she could include in the home study.) But the most fun will be writing the blog post telling you all about that house (maybe you'll go the crazy faith route too after that).

If you were looking for another post about what's happened recently in the process, sorry.  All you get today is a story of faith and the anticipation of hope realized.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hong Kong

While we wait for our home study to be completed I am enjoying the journey.  In the mean time I have learned some things about Hong Kong.  The most interesting fact is that 5 million people live there.  WOW!  How do they fit so many people.  I found out that most people live in tall buildings with apartments being only 700 square feet.  With this information I was not surprised to find out that spacial awareness does not exist.  Traveling to Hong Kong is sure to be a fun adventure!  It was described as New York on steroids.  The hustle and bustle of a busy city with people trying to get to where they need to go.  Public transportation in run at this same speed so we are going to have to get really good at moving and thinking quickly.  Someone also suggested we take jackets because, although their summers are hot and muggy, the indoors are freezing.  This should be interesting.  I have heard too that the people are very friendly and that Hong Kong was recognized as a great place to live.  Living in small town Carpinteria might make the transition to Hong Kong a bit challenging but I still can't wait to get a stamp on my passport and meet the little boy that is sure to change our lives forever.

If you have any great tidbits about Hong Kong I would love to hear them!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Home Visit Complete

Our home study came and went quicker than I can grasp.  It almost fells like it didn't happen, like I missed it.  Lee Ann was here and gone in 45 minutes.  Most of her time was spent talking with Sarah and Julia.  Then she took a quick overview of our place and left.  It was really fast.  I kept wondering why she wasn't asking me where Jed would sleep and our plans to move to a bigger home.  Those questions never came so I offered the info to her.  I guess I expected more because I heard, from other moms, that the visit takes about two hours and she will let us know what needs to be done before her next visit.  None of that happened.  We won't even have a next visit until Jed is home.  So now we wait for the home study to be typed up, sent out(I'm not sure who has to see it) and approved.  After this process we will be matched with a child, our son, Jedidiah Nathan!

While we wait we will get our passports.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Sweet Julia

About a week ago Julia came up to me with a bag full of stuff and shared that she doesn't really use the items any more.  I asked her what she was going to do with them and she just smiled and walked away.  Sometimes Julia needs use to dig for more info.  So I followed her and asked her why she was putting them in the bag.  She smiled and said she wanted to have a garage sale.  Cute!  I asked her what she was going to do with the money and with no hesitation said she wanted to give it to me for the adoption. WOW!  I was touched by her motives but not surprised.  Julia is one of those people that loves to bless other people.  She is a very thoughtful little girl who really cares about people, especially if they are in need.  Allow me to give you a few examples.
At Christmas time her class was collecting money for a child with cancer.  Julia came home and told us what her class was doing and she asked if she had any money.(Note-she did not ask me to give her money)  We went to her bank and were surprised to see so much money in there.  I asked her how much she wanted to give.  Without hesitation she said excitedly,"All of it"!  All I could do was smile and enjoy this moment.  Watching my daughter give without any thought about what she would miss out on was a beautiful thing.  How many times do we, as adults, stop and think about what else we could do with our money when we know we should give it away?
Then one day Julia randomly told me that if she had $1000.00 she would give it away to families that needed it.  She is always saying stuff like this to me.  She is always trying to find ways to help someone who needs it.
She prays for a homeless man I used to talk to, she prays for people in Sri Lanka and she prays for people who don't know the Lord. 
This girl has a huge heart and I am so honored that she is my daughter.  She inspires me to be a better person, as all my girls do!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just Had to Share

I know I said I would not be posting until next week but I really want to share a few things with you.  Let's start with this.

Last week I wrote a check for our immigration paper work.  This check took the last bit of the adoption money.  When I shared this with Josh his response was, "Well, I guess it's time for God to provide again."  I agreed and not another word was spoken about this until a few days ago when I received a check for $1100.00 from our church family.  When I first saw the check I was confused because I thought we had already received all the was given towards the adoption form them, boy was I wrong.  I am still in awe of how God is moving people to give.

Then the other day my mom called and asked if I would like to have a cleaning service come to help me with the house.  At first I was unsure about the offer.  Sure I thought it would be wonderful but this is not a privilege I am used to having.  After thinking about it I realized this was another one of God's blessings for me, us. 

And yesterday one of the teachers at my girls school gave me $100.00 for the adoption!  This teacher is truly amazing and has loved our family for many years. 

It's people like this that make life so great.  People that make a difference in how life goes on a day to day basis.  Thank you all for your love and support.  Each one of you will hopefully reap the reward of your generous support when you hold Jedidiah for the first time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Home Visit Scheduled!!!

I am really excited but a little nervous about our first home visit with the social worker, Lee Ann.  We will have her over next Tuesday at 4:30.  If you knew my Tuesday schedule you would think I was crazy.  Really!  I help lead an after school Bible club and we leave school at 4:00 which leaves me a half hour to do whatever I need to do to prepare myself.  This visit should give Lee Ann a good idea about my mothering skills or lack of them.  Usually when we come home on these days it's a rush to do homework, get dinner ready, have the girls shower and clean up a little.  I would like to remind you that this does not include all the needs I have to take care of for each one of my girls.  There always seems to be a need for something.  For those of you with at least three kiddos you know exactly what I mean. 

Unless something changes you won't hear from me until next week.  Let's pray for no changes, at least in the timing of this meeting.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Interview Is Done

We had our interviews with the social worker assigned to our adoption March 31st.  This is the first of three meeting we will have.  The next one will be at our home.  The plan right now is to have her come at 4pm.  We don't have a date set because we have to check on schedules so we can all be home.  I'm a little nervous about the time but at least she will get a good idea about our family.  Now I have to focus on cleaning!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy World Down Syndrome Day! 3/21

Yes, I do mean happy.  Actually I mean HAPPY!!!!!  Having a child with Down syndrome has been wonderful.  Hannah is one of the best treasures God gave us.  In honor of this day I made a list of 21 treasures we have been blessed with since Hannah's birth.
*Please note these are in no particular order.

1. Hannah Jordyn, her name means grace flows down!
2. Beautiful almond shaped eyes.
3. Inspiring desire to achieve.
4. Facial expressions that will melt your heart, make you laugh and just make you feel good!
5. Sweet baby hugs that make you know she feels loved.
6. The joy of sign language.
7. Fabulous new friendships.
8. Unimagined support from experts.
9. Speechless conversations with whole body movements that only mommy can fully understand.
10. A sense of humor that has daddy and mommy rolling.  She really tries to be funny and succeeds!
11. Inexpressible love.
12. The eyes closed funny dance, a must see!
13. Muscle tone that allows for a snuggle that feels more like two bodies becoming one.
14. The cutest little outy belly button.
15. Tender expressions of care when someone is sad.
16. A cackle like none other.
17. Joy of life and all it brings.
18. Best pesky little sister ever.
19. Sarah says Hannah is cute and fun to play with.
20. Julia says Hannah is funny and hilarious.
21. A girl that is more like her sisters than different.

Spread the word that Down syndrome is amazing!  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quote #20

"Don't put serving the King on hold. Waiting doesn't equate to idleness. Invest in the wait; don't waste it."
- Eric and Mitzie Tibbets

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quote #19

This quote is from L.A.

When Ibby doesn't want to do something his response is: 

"I CAN'T like that!"
By: Ibby Siebenman        
 age 6         

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quote #18

"God isn't going to send you where He is absent."
-Eric and Mitzie Tibbets

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hope Now

Quote #17

I did not receive a quote from L.A. today so I am going to give you my own.  I can't find the exact quote and I don't remember it word for word but it went something like this...

"Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Qoute #16

Casey's program was closed in observation of a Jewish Holiday.
His step dad said "But Casey, your not Jewish."  
Casey responded: 

"Well... I am now!"
By: Casey Powell       
 age 31         

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quote #15

Jessica's mom asked her, and her 4 brothers, what they wanted to be when they grew up.  The boys answered "An engineer, an artist, a marine biologist, a waiter."  Jessica put her finger to her chin and thought... then with a big smile, she rose her arms high above her head and said: 

By: Jessica LaPrade      
 age 5

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quote #14

Kayla was 10 when she attended a funeral with her mother.  
She wanted to go with her mom to pay her respects at the open casket.  After saying a prayer she asked her mother: 

"What happened to her legs?"
By: Kayla McKeon     
 now age 23       

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quote #13

Amanda & Jon have dated since high school.  In passing, Amanda's mom mentioned that Jon had Down syndrome.  With a surprised look on her face, Amanda said: 

"He does?" taking a moment...
"That's cool."
By: Amanda Kragt    
 age 28

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quote #12

Jason wrote his mom a Valentine Card that read: 

"Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Sugar is Sweet
And so do You."
By: Jason Kingsley    
 age  36  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Quote #11

I really like this one!  Sometimes our children can be so sweet!!!

Jon's mommy set him up with an activity and told him she would be
doing the dishes and to call if he needed her.  Jon replied:   

"One more thing 'fore you go... big cheer for Mommy.  GO MOMMY! GO MOMMY!"
By: Jonathan Psaute   
 age 6

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quote #10

Jessi's mom was on her way inside a business,
Jessi asked if she could wait in the car,
mom told her sure, as long as they could see each other.  
Jessi informed her mom:

"I'm almost 18 you know!"

By: Jessi Rendleman  
 age 17 of course!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quote #9

Angela was trying to tell her father something.
He wasn't getting it, and asked her to repeat slower, twice.   
Finally, in frustration, Angela shook her finger at her father and said:  

By: Angela Armenta 
 age 24

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quote #8

Casey and his mom were shopping.  When they got to the cash register the clerk asked Casey "how are you?" Casey responded  

"Great" and pointed to his mom and said "I'm her kid."

The clerk repeated to make sure she understood,
"You're her son"
and Casey replied  

"Oh, she knows!"
By: Casey Powell   
 age 30   

Monday, March 7, 2011

Great News and a Confession

The phone call I was waiting for never came but an e-mail did!  We will start our home study on March 31st.  This is the individual interview that each of us have with our social worker.  This interview will take about an hour for each of us and we will go one right after the other.  No chance for us to share answers.

I told the girls about this news today and they got really excited.  They both yelled YAY! and jumped up and down.  They are going to be great big sisters, again!

I also had a revelation this week about the adoption process.  Since I know that God has brought us to this place and guided every step of the process so far, why would I think that any of this process is taking too long.  It's ridiculous for me to get irritated and impatient with the speed things are moving.  Of course, everything is moving as it should be.  It's ultimately directed by the hand of God, the God I seek and trust and follow.   So you will get no more complaints out of me.  From now on I plan to be content with the speed of this process and at peace with each moment whether I am waiting or actively involved.

Confession feels good.

"We shall not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest." -C.S. Lewis

Quote #7

Two brothers, at dinner, were asked what they were thankful for.  
The typical little 5 year old said "God and Jesus."
His brother with Down syndrome said: 

"Santa Claus"
By: Joseph D'Elia   
 age 7   

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quote #6

I was not sure that I wanted to post this quote becuase of the profanity used but then I realized I could bleep the word and it was simply a 5 year old boy innocently expressing himself.  Here you go.

When Blair was 5 he was stuck on 2 word sentences.
His family  & therapist did everything they could to get him to use 3 words.
One morning he got up to find
the refrigerator restocked and exclaimed...

"Holy Bleep, Yogurt!" After this dad found out he heard those words while watching
SPACE BALLS with his older brother,
he explained "we don't talk like that at our house."
Blair went on his way and his parents celebrated the victory of 3 little words!

By: Blair Williamson  
 Now age 31, with plenty to say  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quote #5

Paul spoke in 2 word sentences, only a few times a day.
His summer vacation had included swimming with his Grandma.
When he saw her again, 4 months later he said... 

"Oh Gumma, mimmin in da pool"

Not only did he say a full sentence, he displayed his long term memory skills since he only had the joy of seeing his Grandma 
a couple of times in his short lifetime. 

By: Paul Steward 
 Age 5

Friday, March 4, 2011

Quote #4

Brandon's mom awoke to his face in hers,
she said "Good morning, I love you. " 

"Goo ing, I uv oo."

By: Brandon Sardo   
 Age 7  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quote #3

While observing a traffic signal.

"Red stop, green go, orange..... juice."

By: Marc Williams  
 Age 7  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quote #2

"If they invented a pill to take away my Down syndrome, I wouldn't take it because this is the way God made me.  He wants me this way - and I don't want to mess around with God's plan"

By: Lydia Orso  
 Age 31  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quote #1

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, Sunday March 21, 2011
The Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles presents: 
21 quotes in 21 days by 21 people with Trisomy 21

Following participating in a public rally
to oppose the California State Budget Cuts
to services for people with developmental disabilities,
Ryan told his mom...

"The bad guys are stealing the money,
we need Batman!"
Ryan Fitch 
 Age 8 

Waiting for THE Phone Call

I am waiting for the phone call that will confirm we are moving forward.  I will write more about this once I have this much anticipated conversation.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fun in Hong Kong

Sarah and Julia were watching Toy Story and found a section in the bonus features about a Toy Story theme park in Hong Kong.  They decided that they wanted to go.  I explained that they would not be going and they expressed the unfairness of the fact.  Then Julia had an idea, "If you are in Hong Kong and your not where Jedidiah is yet then you can go to the park while you wait."  I think it's a great idea.  I'll let you know if we do end up going.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Must See

I love when someone is willing to share the truth boldly. Watch this video and see what I mean.

Something to Share

I few weeks ago Josh and I had the opportunity to share our adoption journey with our home church.  As usual I felt like I should have shared more.  More about the need for families to open up their home to a child waiting for someone to love them.  I also wish I could have shared more about how wonderful it is to have a child with Down syndrome.  If I could I would make it my life goal to change our worlds perspective on having a child with Down syndrome.  I know that we have been blessed with Hannah having such great health and development but even if that was not the case she would still be just as precious to us. 

Honestly the only thing that could devastate me about Hannah is if she weren't a part of our lives.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Made a Call

I decided to call the agency and see how things were going and find out if we needed to do anything else right now.  They asked for some documents and said we should get out passports.  I know getting the passports does'nt mean I will be on a plane any sooner but at least I feel like we are moving forward. 
YAY something to do!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This past week has been a real struggle for me.  I have had to talk myself out of being angry several times over the lack of progress with the adoption.  I know that God has everything in control but man is it hard when your on the waiting side of  progress.  This is especially hard since I know the next few steps will get us to that desired moment, when we will be matched with our son.  I'm ready to see the face that will steal my heart and have me aching for our trip to Hong Kong. 

So, please pray that the the agency will get things processed soon and even more important, that I will be patient.  Thank you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No New News

Since we have no new news regarding the adoption I would like to share another one of my favorite songs. This one is by the David Crowder Band. The lyrics are so poetic and paint a beautiful picture of God's love and grace. I love it. Enjoy!

Yes, He loves you!!!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Praises To My God

I love to worship and sing praises to my God more than anything else.  I could sing praises to my God all day.  My favorite songs are about God's greatness revealed in His creation.  The song Starry Night (see video below) has a line about praising the One who makes the moon reflect the sun.  Have you ever thought about the details involved in this, the moon reflecting the sun.  Or what about the God who tells the oceans where to stop - Creator of the mountains, trees, animals.  God through His creation reveals so much of who he is;  mighty, powerful, creative, awesome and everything in nature we find so beautiful like the flowers in the ground or the butterfly so delcate and beautiful.  God is an amazing creator. 

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

PS - If all this is true about God's creation, let us not forget that our son Jed, as we all are with our perceived imperfectons, is part of that glorious creation.

Monday, January 24, 2011

God's Amazing Love

I recently heard this song by JJ Heller and fell in love with it immediately.  The truth of God's love expressed in this song is so  powerful and yet so simple.  The last verse expresses God's presence in our life and His desire to be with us no matter what we have or have not done.  He accepts us as we are.  However, we must first invite Him into our lives and be ready to listen.  Invite Him to change us, to grow us, to help us, to lead us and to love us.  We have to let go of our desire to be in control and let Him lead the way.  It is only when we fully submit our lives to God that He can extend His fullness on our lives. 
I know at times this can be a difficult thing to do but I can assure you that there is no better way.  Listen to the song and be blessed by the truth that God is waiting for you to open up to Him and all He has for you.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Online Courses Complete!!!

Although these courses were informative we are happy to announce the completion of them.  Our last course was about attachment issues kids have when they are adopted and it broke my heart.  To think that a child who does get attached to a caregiver will be so sad to find his forever family because they are taken away from the person they love.  We know that having a forever family is best but why do children have to deal with this at all. 

Josh and I have talked about how sin creates scenarios where there is no right answer, no right way to fix what has been done.  Yes we are forgiven by our Savior but our sin still leaves consequences and sadly those consequences affect more than just the sinner. 

I know God has everything worked out and so I pray that no matter what issues we may have to deal with that our son can adjust quickly and we would have the wisdom to help him do so.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

P.S. For Last Post

I usually ask Josh to read my posts to make sure that they make sense etc.  After reading the last post Josh called me and said that the last line reminded him of the movie The Incredibles when Syndrome tells the Incredible family about his inventions and how he is going to let everyone have the chance to have one because "with everyone super, no one will be".  I got a good laugh out of this and wanted to share it with you. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Online Adoption Courses

Josh and I are required to complete a 10 hour adoption training.  We have complete two courses already and I learned something that I think will be very helpful not only for our son but for all of our children.  One of the courses, Conspicuous Family, was really a guide in how to respond to comments that people will make about our son being a different race.  Josh actually thought we would get more comments about him having Down syndrome.  I am not sure what to expect.  So far I have not had any comments made to me about Hannah and so it will be interesting to see what people say, if they say anything at all.  From this course I learned the importance of paying attention to what the child is hearing, not only from the question or comment made by an outside source but also our response to the comment.  I had never really thought about this before.  I am not a quick thinker when I'm in a situation that requires a strong response.  Josh on the other hand is very quick and will make sure the person understands if their comment is out of line or not.  I just hope if we do face a situation where the comment is inappropriate that Josh will be with me. 

I think it's unfortunate that we have to learn these types of things.  I don't understand why people can't just be happy for other people and see the positive in the whole situation. 

I watched Extreme Makeover the other night and the family had a daughter with Down syndrome.  I love the show because there was no focus on this child other than one of the parents stating the obvious about their child.  She has Down syndrome.  There were no tears about it, no pity party, no focus on her at all and I loved it.  That is exactly how it should be.  This little girl was part of the bigger picture, the family that was struggling and was being blessed with a new home.  The show was about the family!  I want that for Hannah.  I want people with Down syndrome to be so much a part of our society that people don't even notice.  I walk through the store all the time and can't remember anyone I saw.  This is true inclusion, when no one stands out because they are different because being different is normal.