Sunday, December 26, 2010

catching up!

We had a wonderful Christmas with our family and friends! My plan is to work on a catch up post with pictures reflecting all the recent activities. Stay tuned.... ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To blog or not to blog?

I have to admit, I hardly think of my blog anymore. I have so much to say but time is not on my side however, I love to look back on our lives and this blog has proved to be a wonderful way to capture memories. But still, it's one more thing to think about, ya know what I mean?!?!?

What should I do?

Any Suggestions?


Friday, November 19, 2010

3 year forever family day!

Three years ago in a dark/damp civil affairs office in Nanjing (pronounced Nan-Jin) CJ, my sister Allison and I sat on pins and needles waiting for our Linzhi Rose. I will never forget how she felt in my arms, the thickness of her hair, the scent of her skin and ALL THE CLOTHES she was wearing. As we unwrapped her we found a teeny tiny scared little girl. Oh how I wish I could go back that day and hold her. It's no secret Linzhi and I didn't bond right away but oh my heart, that girl is mine! (And daddy too). My Linzhi is by far my easiest child, she has a servants heart and loves to joyfully help you anytime. I cannot type this without tears because out of all my children Linzhi had the toughest beginning. Madelyn knew love and felt love, she is not a typical orphan (praise God). Our Linzhi came to us knowing hunger and thirst and didn't know how to be anything but a child waiting in line to eat and maybe get a drink. She still guzzles her water( but now it's because she's too busy to stop and enjoy it) and she still needs to know there's food available but over time I have seen how my little rose has blossomed into a little girl knowing her daddy and mama will never leave her, she will always be fed, she will always be loved and cherished and she knows heart and soul who her saviour is. My little peanut can recite with pride Psalm 23, she works the hardest at everything but you would never know it, she is always cheerful. I love you Linzhi Rose Xiao Li. Our journey together is nothing but a miracle and I am so grateful to God our father for picking YOU especially for mama and daddy and we are so grateful your China mama and baba chose to give you a chance at life. Happy forever family day to you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthday wishes for my baby girl

Today our daughter Rachel turns 7. Oh my heart! We love this kid so much!! When we found out she was on her way, it changed EVERYTHING! Getting her here was not easy but we praise God she made her way into our lives. Rachel is my mini me, we are both a little over dramatic at pretty spark-a-lee things and LOVE to browse (Linz, Madelyn, daddy and Trev, not so much). Some days she can make all my hair turn gray and then I melt. What can I say, I love my girl!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Golly...It's been too long. I wanted to post this before I forgot and it was too sweet and precious not to post AND I have some exciting news for our Miss Linzhi.

We'll start with Madelyn. This evening my poor hubby was having a difficult time breathing. He's a long time sufferer of Asthma. It truly breaks our hearts when he has such a time with it and this evening for some reason he got bad almost to the point of heading to the ER for a steroid shot. Rachel, Madelyn and I held hands and prayed while Linzhi and daddy went to the bathroom. Madelyn asked intently what was wrong with daddy. I told her he was having trouble breathing but he will be OK. She looked very serious and sat down at the dining room table while I finished up dinner. Our dining area is open to the kitchen so I talked to her while I cooked, she got very quiet and a little red in the face. I asked her if she was ok? She got up from her chair quickly walked over to me wrapped her arms around my waist and started to sob. I got on my knees, looked her in the face and asked what was the matter!??! Through heavy tears she asked "Is daddy going to die?" Oh my heart! By this time CJ was in the kitchen and heard what she said. He grabbed his eldest baby girl and they hugged for a l.o.n.g time. For the first time Madelyn let her wall come down for her daddy. It has taken much time for this to happen, in fact we didn't know if it would ever happen because she was so close to her China daddy. CJ never pushed himself on her, he gave her plenty of space and little by little she would let him in. So tonight, our hearts were so blessed to witness the love she has in her heart for her new daddy. You see, we talk about her China mama and daddy all the time, we want to celebrate them with her because she loves and misses them so much and we are so grateful to them for loving and taking such excellent care of her. We pray for them and this has proven to help Madelyn. It is still heart breaking because as her English gets so much better she is able to tell me more and more. The other day we were talking about what her China mama would make her to eat. I asked her if she missed her and she said "yes but I not going to see again" Sorry folks, I could not hold it in, the tears welled in my eyes, when Madelyn saw this she said to me sternly (that's my Madelyn). "No cry mama, I happy with you." Oh my heart, I (we) love that girl so very much! I love having her in our home, I love watching her get ready for "Merry Christmas" and "Jesus happy birthday" Last year at this time we were devastated because we thought we lost her for the 2nd time and TO GOD BE THE GLORY she is here in our arms. God is so amazing. There is no way if it's God's way for things not to work for your good if you seek His will for your life. I am so grateful we didn't allow our fears to keep us from continuing the journey to get her. We will always be open to the calling of adoption, I just pray he's not finished with us in that department yet...wink wink...

Ok, Linzhi Rose. Yesterday we went to The Univ. Of Chicago to meet with a hand specialist Dr. M. We left completely amazed at what he is able to do for her! It's a process of several surgeries (4-5) but in time our Linzhi will finally be able to bring her hands to her mouth which means she will be able to feed herself, pull up her pants, comb her hair, overall she will be able to live independently one day IF and that's a big IF we allow her to leave (smile). Anyway, the first surgery is going to be complex. He is going to remove her Latissimus muscle from her back and transplant it into her Bicep muscle...Yep, can you believe it?!?!?! We were speechless. This will enable her to have the strength to bend her elbow to bring her hand to her mouth and in time possibly the back of her head. He will do one elbow at a time so once that is finished he will then go into her teeny tiny wrists to release her extremely tight teeny tiny tendon which will allow her teeny tiny fingers to extend and she will be able to keep her wrist in a neutral position. These surgeries will not be easy for her, they will require pain management, physical therapy and Miss Linzhi will have to learn how to reuse her hands. He also confirmed she does indeed have Arthrogryposis it's just very rare that she only has it in her uppers and not her lowers. He stated in the 30 years of his career he has only seen 4 cases and that includes our baby. Sweet Jesus is working out all the details for our precious Lu Belle. I will keep you all posted. We return on January 3rd to discuss the first surgery. Please keep her in your prayers.

My Rachel will be 7 on Monday (sniff sniff). We love that girl! She is such a selfless child especially when it comes to helping her sisters. She is the best swing pusher (Underdogs are her specialty), she never hesitates to help in the bathroom or if one of them needs assistance with getting dressed, she truly is a blessing to them AND she needs them too. They fight like the best of them but they love each other completely. God certainly knew what he was doing when He put those three girls together.

Trevor is doing great, loving his job and he's grades are amazing! I can't believe my baby boy will be 18 in January. I AM NOT OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE AN ADULT CHILD....DO YOU HEAR ME!??!?! Ha Ha...I had him at 19 so I guess I'm not that old... I wrote him a letter when he was a new born, I sealed it and tucked it in his baby book with a note attached "Do not open until January 12, 2011" This January he will open it and read the words his young mama wrote to him. Every time I think of it, I get teary because I remember writing that letter and thinking WOW, 18 years is so long away and yes it is a long period of time but honestly it went by too fast for me. My prayer is that he continues to walk with the Lord so that his time on earth will be filled Grace and Hope. I will always be his mama and will keep many tabs on him and be there whenever he needs me but actually "mothering" him has started to become less and less as he crosses the line from child to now young adult. It's all good and healthy for him but this mama's heart sure misses that 7 year old boy that would draw me pictures and sit next to me and let me hold him. I still get hugs and smooches but he towers over me now and it's not appropriate for him to sit on my lap anymore (lol) so I will tuck all my sweet memories of my little boy in my heart and look forward to watching my son grow into a Godly man. what a blessing it is to be his mom.

This weekend is party-ville at our house celebrating our precious Rachel. Monday I will post pictures and some words from my heart.

God bless to all.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Our new family member.

Oh how I wish I was announcing another baby but I'm not (yet). It's shaggy and cute and his name is Buster. Oh the things we do for our kids...Right?!?! So here's the deal. My Rachel is no doubt a dog LOVER! We have an overweight teacup yorkie named Tinkerbelle and as much as she is a family dog, she prefers Rachel over anyone (except me...lOL) So when Madelyn came home we discovered she had a dog with her China mama and Baba and she told us his name was bay bay and she missed him very much. (insert heartstrings tugging). CJ and I both looked at each other like we were saying with out words...Oh crap! Everyday she would ask if she could get a baby doggy for her birthday (like a year from now) but there is no way I could have her wait that long. CJ and I both agreed it would have to be another yorkie because they are hypoallergenic and since we had to find our lab Russell a home in July due to allergies we decided it was best to stay with the breed we knew. So I started looking online for a teacup yorkie but the cost was as much as the application fee for an adoption and I would rather pay an application fee over the cost of purchasing a puppy, so we decided to look for a standard yorkie cause they're a lot cheaper! I found a breeder not too far from us so I gave them a call, set an appointment and off we went with our Tinkerbelle to see if she could find a friend. I need to add this. Tinkerbelle is not a barker, she only barks if someone is at the door and then she stops. She is ultra friendly and sweet so finding a dog that wasn't high strung was our highest priority. Oh my we walked in and it was total bark city and I was nervous! I sitting down among all the barking puppies and little did I know there was a little boy dog sitting next to me not making a peep. Yep, I thought, he's the one...! Madelyn however wanted the runt of the liter that was skiddish and stand-offish and I knew in my gut that dog was going to be a nipper and a barker so it was up to me to change her mind...Not an easy task mind you. Needless to say, we got the little boy dog that was friendly and quiet and he is now our Buster. So far he is doing wonderful! Potty training is going good, we have a dog run attached to our school room door so it's e.a.s.y! Rachel Catherine is such a help with potty training! The minute she wakes up, she brings him out and it's been cold in the morning, bless her heart! Tinker is a puppy pad dog which I regret so this puppy is an out door pooper and pee-pee-er. So far so good. He is bigger and shaggy and he's sweet as can be. Welcome to crazy-ville Buster!!!

First night home and no his eyes are not yellow.

Madelyn with our sleeping Tinkerbelle.

Rachel and Lu belle with Buster (and Madelyn peeking around the corner in the school room)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This and That.

Oh my blog, my poor poor blog...I have been a bad blogger this month, time is just not on my side, we are busy busy!! Here are a few updates on our family.

* Madelyn is doing wonderful! We have a few crying moments but lately I've noticed it's set off by not getting her way (all the time). Madelyn is a little on the stubborn side and holds her ground which I totally get and admire but at times it gets her in a little hot water. I love how she expresses herself, she is very much getting her English down so she is much more chatty with us and LOVES to talk about China and her past life and of course, we gobble every word up. We've been talking about her China mama and China baba a lot! I think she felt she couldn't and now that she knows we encourage her to talk about them and that we welcome it, she brings them up all the time. They are now apart of our family, we pray for them and hope one day when we go on the homeland tour we can visit them. We always pray at dinner as a family and take turns doing it, I have asked Madelyn if she would like to say prayer and she always said no. Well, on October 20th (3 month adoption day), she eagerly asked to say grace...Oh what a joy to hear her praise Jesus and thank him for her family and meal. It truly blessed our hearts. She's our angel and brings so much to our family. Friday we attended our church's fall festival (pics below). Last year at the fall festival, CJ was in China on the mission trip smuggling bibles across the China/Hong Kong border and two days prior we got our denial letter from USCIS. I could barely get through an hour without tears but had to get it together to take my babies to the festival alone, without CJ. As we were there I remember praying/begging the Lord to move mountains so we can get our daughter home and I specifically remember being in church at the festival imagining Madelyn there the next year and this year she was. I got very teary as we were driving to church this year for the festival because as I glanced in the backseat there she was holding her Belle baby doll looking out the window not knowing how her mama and dadda's hearts were full of gratitude for those mountains being moved for her to become on less orphan. I am grateful for the spiritual battle we faced with the enemy to get her in our arms, I learned and hold firm to trusting ONLY in him. HE is bigger than any government, nation, person. He is King!

Now moving on to another blessing, Linzhi Rose. Linzhi's brain and spinal scan came back clear, no signs of any trauma which Dr. S thought she had so the mystery continues. It's kind of exciting because now that we know she doesn't have Arthrogryposis we have more hope that her little hands and wrists can be helped even more. We have an appointment on November 11th with Dr. S's partner Dr. M. Dr.M is a hand specialist and Dr. S. seems to think Linzhi needs her hands rewired and a tendon release and he is very confident Dr. M can get her some help. We are over the moon excited it's been three years that she's been home so it's time to get moving! All the girls are doing very well in home school, gymnastics and dance. Linzhi Rose out of the three stands out as being the most athletic, I see a future gymnast in our future!?!??

Rachel Catherine will be 7 in a few short weeks. Oh I love this child, she is growing up and expressing herself all over the, drawing, decorating and re-decorating her room. I love when she comes into the class room with her leopard print clogs, a scarf, purse and make-up, I love it because I get it! I was/am the same way. We love so much of the same things. This weekend I had a bridal shower so I was going through my closet putting together an outfit/accessories and she was right there the entire time helping me and telling me how she wants to be a "fashion girl" when she grows up. I loved having her help me and today when I left she had to look me over and to my delight she said "mama, you look awesome!" Ahh, that kid of mine!

Trevor is doing great! His school work is excellent and he's been working now for a few months. CJ took him to open a checking account and now he has a debit card. He takes it very seriously and is being very frugal with his money (thank you God). He has also helped me with Madelyn and her math studies. It's nice because all three girls are in three different grades so I work one on one with each of them for math and reading so to have the extra help is awesome, plus it helps them bond even more. Trevor will be 18 on January 12th. I am very emotional about this big birthday. I am so proud of the young man he has turned out to be but I miss that little boy too. Motherhood is HARD! LOL... Sometimes you want to run out the door and sometimes you never want your babies to age. Praise God he's starting at junior college so he'll be home for 2 more years.

Below are some pics...Enjoy and have a blessed Sunday!

Finally a family picture!

Linzhi at the fall festival getting her face painted. (it's a dolphin-kinda)

Rachel the kitty cat.

Madelyn at the fall festival. A prayer answered! And of course, miss Linz too!

my pictures are not in order but this is Rachel becoming a kitty!

My girls love craft day, here's Madelyn painting her "Love" plaque. It went along with our bible study. See my chalk board behind her. It's chalkboard paint and works beautifully!

Lu Belle painting her plaque too.

And Rachel Cate.

Hanging with dadda.

Trevor was asked to homecoming by his friend Katlyn. He's of course said yes!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This by far is my favorite time of the year! I just love the Midwest especially during fall. On Friday we took a field trip to a pumpkin patch and apple orchard and we all made sweet memories. Watching sweet Madelyn get her first taste of fall in America brings so much joy to my heart, she is always up to try new things and she takes it all in with sheer excitement! Rachel, Linzhi and big bro Trev love to show her how to pick the right pumpkin but Miss Madelyn has a mind of her own (thank you very much) and she will smile with gratitude but then walk right over to inspect the pumpkins she likes. All the girls are getting along for the most part, there are tears from someone everyday but we're praising the Lord Madelyn's grieving has become less and less, she will get emotional and want to be isolated but I have shown a little more tough love and insist once she's had a few minutes to get it out, it's time to regroup and get moving again. It's hard for me to do it but I believe it helps her more than anything. She is also giving out lots of "I love you's" to everyone and of course we all say it back. She is very intersted in Jesus and God and loves to read her bilingual bible grandma Sharon and grandpa Willie bought her birthday. It's so precious to watch and listen to the girls during bible, they have their own interpretations of bible stories. I listen and nod and correct them if they are completely wrong because I do not want to misguide them in anyway however, if they're a little off, I leave them be because I feel they are trying to express how they understand it...Miss Linzhi is the most fun to listen to because she's all over the place but she has it so right when she said to me today... "Jesus lamb of God, worthy is your name" Big tears for mama. Rachel Cate is my little teacher in the making, she is patient and loves to help with Linzhi if I'm working one on one with Madelyn. Actually Madelyn is a great helper with Linzhi too especially in math, in fact she tried to tell me HOW to teach Linzhi her math so I let her do it and when Linzhi looked completely confused Madelyn said to me "Ok, mommy you got it" LOL... I LOVE LOVE LOVE home school. It's just such a precious time, I feel like I'm getting to know them on a different level. Please don't get me wrong some days I could get in my vehicle and never come back but good days out weigh the not so good days and we're having a good time and it's nice to have big brother in the next room. He pops his head in every once in awhile to see what we're doing. God has blessed us so abundantly. I am never worthy of His Grace but He just floods me with it.

Have a wonderful God-filled Wednesday!!
All my babies... My heart is full. I know the sun kind of ruined the shot but I love it anyway.
With Daddy.

With Mama. (yes, we're in a HUGE rocking chair)

Linzhi running to her pumpkin. Oh goodness I love this kid!! (new post coming on Linzhi medical update)

My youngest little birdy.

Rachel and Madelyn running to find pumpkins. Madelyn may have difficulty running but it NEVER stops her!

Yes, the sun was in their eyes but aren't they cute!?!?!

Big bro giving a push.

Linzhi feeding the goats...Rachel thinking about it. =)

And Madelyn thinking about it. It always cracks me up that the "little" sister is the one that is NOT afraid like the "big" Gi gi's

These two are very close.

They loved this school bus!

Monday, October 4, 2010

(birthday wishes)

Happy birthday to my best friend... Love you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Finally pictures!

Ok, Madelyn has been 9 years for almost a week and I am just getting to post her pictures!!! Sorry for the delay! BTW, she has had a great week! Not one episode of grief. I truly believe her birthday was triggering her grief which breaks my heart. She is gaining more and more English which helps in so many ways AND she's maintaining her Mandarin as well. We're encouraging her to read her Mandarin books and practice her Characters as much as possible and she's more than happy to oblige. All my kiddos are doing great with school and just life. God is good. Today we took our second field trip to the pumpkin patch, I should have those pictures to post closer to Christmas...LOL... Have a wonderful weekend and God bless you all. ~Amy

These pics are not in order and I have to upload the pics from CJ's computer...Anyway, we started the morning with donuts and presents from mama and daddy and her sibs then we headed to Nana's Cakery for her party with friends. They were able to make 2 dozen cookies to take home and we had a little cake party in the back room. Then in the evening we had a family party with lots and lots of gifts. Those pics are on CJ's camera but I was able to get a few. Enjoy!


At the Bakery with friends.

Having cake in the backroom of the bakery with her friends.

Linzhi and cut Madelyn and Yes, my husband accidently cut my face 0ff in the pic... =)

All ready to roll dough!

Madelyn's new friends and her sisters!

A quick snap with mama before heading to the bakery.

Madelyn and Tinerbelle.

In the livingroom opening gifts!

With her Fur-real pet dog she named "little Madelyn"

So excited for her princess house from her GuGu Trevor.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Someone turned 9 today....

Happy birthday sweet Madelyn!!! We had a FULL day of celebrations!!! Pictures and text coming soon....Mama is tired!!!

God bless and thank you Lord for our girl.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Oh life...I love my life, thank God everyday for the health of my children, husband and myself. I am so thankful to be able to be home with my kids cuz I know what's it's like to have to work outside of the home and trust others to care for my child. I am blessed.

Some days well, life can be interesting... Today for example was Monday, grocery shopping day which means I get up at 6:30am, shower and leave the house by 7:30-8:00am to get my shopping done for the week which consists of 3 different stores due to prices and favorites. We start school late on Mondays so Trevor can be with the girls. I call it "home economics" class for Trevor. I managed to get everything checked off my list in perfect time, I knew it was going to be a great day! I pull in, Trevor helps me unload and then all of a sudden time was flying and one thing after another kept popping up making it impossible to get life in order for my three little peanuts. One needed this, the other that...oh my! The needs just kept mounting up and I was finding myself getting alittle frustrated with my life at the moment. I'm going to be real honest here so please don't judge. Some days I feel defeated. Linzhi needs bathroom assistance, help with feedings, dressing, hair, teeth, etc... Madelyn is pretty independent except for the bathroom if she's wearing pants or shorts of any kind. Rachel is my child that will challenge me from the minute she wakes up until she hits the pillow at night and now all the girls are bickering left and right over the most trivial things in the world! (yes, mom I know Allison and I did the same things) LOL... But all joking aside, today I wanted to be as far away from my house full of blessings as I possible could and I feel terrible about that but that's reality sometimes. I am finding myself very tired. Adopting an older child with a language barrier and with mild but obvious physical disabilities is tough...very tough and some days I talk to her like she understands me and then I forget and run to the translator and type it all in and pray she gets it!! *sigh* One day I know we will be able to communicate and I thank God for every little breakthrough we have with language but some times are more trying than others and bless Madelyn's heart, she is such a trooper. =)

So I admit, all heck broke loose today! But I will say this, we had a great day at school when we finally got everyone in order so we could get to the classroom AND best of all...Madelyn was able to get through the day without crying due to grief (Praise the Lord). See a little breakthrough. =) Tomorrow will be a new day and my girls will wake up with perfect attitudes and happy smiles for each other ALL DAY LONG...Ok maybe not but we'll manage through lots of prayers and I'm sure some laughs and maybe some tears here and there. So I am going to bed tonight with my cup overflowing with gratitude so when all heck breaks loose tomorrow, I'm going to run to my computer and reread my post. ;)

Have a great Tuesday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One day at a time...

Actually my new motto is...One minute at a hour at a time... That's how we get through some of our days. It is not terrible at all...It truly is wonderful and I am so very thankful for all my children, my husband, my home, my life. But when you have a child that will be 9 years in 9 days and you've only been apart of her life for almost 2 months life is going to be interesting for awhile. Yesterday was great! Madelyn and Linzhi started dance and Rachel started acrobats (all at the same time at the same studio but in different rooms). CJ and I would go back and forth to watch our girls and WOW they were loving it. Linzhi Rose made sure to tell the dance instructor all about Madelyn, it was precious however when it was shoe change time we had to tell Linzhi to pay attention...I don't think she understood... =) Not only did they have dance in the evening, they also had gymnastics during the day along with school so their day was full so there wasn't much bickering which triggers the melt downs. Today, well let's just say it was better than Tuesday, Madelyn only had one which I'm praising God for. My friends, it so so hard to watch and wait it out but it is so wonderful to know that each time it happens we are getting one step closer to healing and that's why I tell myself one minute at a time, one hour at a time because it happens in a minute and it takes about an hour for her to come out of her fog which always ends in lots of hugging and tears but we're getting there. Thank you for prayers...We can feel them. God is with us no doubt.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I don't even know how to start this post. Our Madelyn has been hit very hard with grief and loss. We are not surprised or panicking, we are so very sad for our girl. Two times today, I sat next to her in her bedroom as she stared at the wall sobbing for her foster family. I know this because I asked her through the translator. My heart has never felt so much pain for any of my children. Linzhi struggled but not for too long (praise God). At one point today, Madelyn did not want me to hold her or look at her. I was not hurt or upset, I totally gave her space, I just sat next to her so she knew I was there and she was not alone. After 20 minutes, I told her I would be back with the laptop and phone. When I came back I asked her if she would like to call her foster father, she said yes, we dialed and it didn't go through. *sigh* ... So I emailed the orphanage director asking if he could help. We're waiting for a response so please pray we can get him on the phone for her. I would love for her to be able to talk to him 1-2 times per week through SKYPE. So all this happened in the morning. We started school late because everything stopped when she broke down. School was challenging today, the girls were not able to sit still or listen. I almost walked out of the room...twice! I prayed with the girls and by the Grace of God we got through the day. During our lunch break Rachel, Linzhi and Madelyn had words and that sent Madelyn back up to her room sobbing. This time she was angry! She knocked down our folders and threw down her purse. Before I went up, I had a talk with Rachel and Linzhi asking them to be patient and kind to her as she is struggling right now. Rachel burst into tears at the thought of Madelyn missing her family in China. She said to me "it's like if you died mama and we would have to live without you" and I do agree, it is like a death for Madelyn and not being able to do anything but pray for her asking the Lord to heal her, we must wait patiently for her to get this all out so she can heal. It could be years but we're in it forever. When I was finished talking with the girls, I went up to see Madelyn. She had her back to the door and she was facing the wall again. I told her I was coming in and she did move so I could get through the door. She again did not want me to touch or hold her so I sat quietly next to her for about 15 minutes then I had to run to the bathroom and told her I would be back, she nodded without looking at me. When I returned, she had moved away from the door, I sat across from her and she looked right into my eyes. I asked her if I could hold her and she almost jumped into my lap. We held each other for at least 10 minutes crying. I told her through the translator that I know she is hurting, angry, confused, homesick, sad, etc... I told her we love her very much and that I wished I could take all her pain away. I also assured her that it is ok to feel all that she is feeling and we are here to help her through this. I prayed over her aloud and she followed my prayer with an "amen". I (we) love this little girl with all our hearts. She has such a sweet disposition, always ready with a smile or a song so when she hurts, it rips our hearts out. This is a process... A L.O.N.G. process. There's good, there's not so good, there's AMAZING times and not so amazing but the truth is this God is in complete control here, I can feel it all around. The enemy may try to hurt us but the shield of Jesus is so much greater and stronger than that pesty fly, I just do not like it when my baby girl is being attacked. Oh my heart. Please pray for her. She is such a brave little angel girl.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Home School-Mandarin class. ***UPDATE***

I had a sweet video to post of Madelyn teaching Rachel and Linzhi Mandarin however, for some reason I can't get the video up!?!? So...I have some cute pictures of their Mandarin lesson today which was practicing writing Chinese characters (we bought practice books in Wuhan) and learning colors. Oh how I love to watch this! Madelyn takes it very seriously and so does Rachel, Linzhi...Not so much (lol). Rachel is picking it up quickly which gives Madelyn (and me) great joy. Home school is going great! We are very busy with projects and worksheets but we're having so much fun and it's such a blessing to have Trevor in the next room too. Tomorrow is Friday which means it's art class with Trevor. =)

**UPDATE** The director of Madelyn's orphanage gave us his personal email address and asked that we send updates so they can see how she's doing. So this evening I did just that and requested the update be sent to her foster family as well. Well, within an hour he emailed us back a sweet note and promised to forward the update to her foster family...PRAISE GOD! My prayer is that they have some peace of mind knowing how much she is loved. I know it will be bittersweet. Please pray for healing of broken hearts. I know they miss her and she misses them. I will be showing her the email tomorrow morning, I know she'll be tickled!

Rachel practicing Chinese characters.

Madelyn showing the girls how to write the names of colors in Chinese characters.

Sister love.



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Be still my heart.

Today in journal writing, I had them copy this sentence into their journal "I give thanks to God for..." Then they had to draw what they were thankful to God for. Madelyn drew a sun, clouds and her forever mama and dadda. When she showed it to me, my heart stopped for a minute...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

To my love.

September 6th marks the day that I married the love of my life. My one and only. Forever.

Happy anniversary to my CJ.