Friday, April 22, 2011

Thank you Jesus!

Saved by His blood.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Update in pictures! (in no particular order)

Photo of Linzhi by Madelyn.
Madelyn and Linzhi (self portrait)
See what happens when my camera disappears!
Our Linzhi LOVES pillow pets!
Posing with Linzhi's pillow pets (picture by Linzhi)
Another cute picture by Madelyn.
At MGM with Handy Mandy!
Universal Studios at Harry Potter-Trevor's absolute favorite!
Passing out in Madelyn's wheelchair (staged of course!)
With Belle at Cinderella's castle.
And Snow White.
Embracing Cinderella.
On the train at Magic Kingdom!
Ariella. Big brother stated "she's the prettiest"
Minnie's place
Toon town. Last week before it was taken down =(
Early morning at Denny's as we were leaving for our long drive to Florida!
Craft time!
Chinese New Year preparations!
Linzhi filling her red envelopes.
Madelyn too!
Sisters forever!
Madelyn being goofy at the Children's museum. Madelyn getting her pizza order.

Linzhi cooking plastic hot dogs.
Rachel bringing me my order.
Madelyn playing dentist.
Linzhi showing me how she can stretch her hands. PROGRESS!
Posing for mama.
Water works. Fun and WET!
Back at the diner.
School, working on self portrait.
Rachel too!
Trevor at his 18th birthday party!
Madelyn made me lunch. Ham sandwich and an orange.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sharing Madelyn's story

My sweet Madelyn. She brings so much joy to our lives. She's is witty and sharp as a whip and her mathematical skills...forget about it, she's brilliant! As she is learning more and more English, she and I talk all the time about her past life in China. I am sharing this with all of you because I know there are some folks out there that are adopting older children and this information may be helpful in some way. It's not easy to share because it breaks my heart all over again for her but I know the Lord is with her, she is on fire for JESUS and I know He has mighty plans for our girl. Madelyn is usually the last one to finish eating at the dinner table which has given CJ and I some valuable one on one with her. She loves to talk and she loves to talk about "her" China and I chuckle as I type this because she feels Linzhi's China is very different from her China and Linzhi feels her China is very different than Madelyn's. *sisters* Anyway, one evening Madelyn asked me if I miss someone. I said yes, I miss my grandpa and grandma that passed away almost 10 years ago, then she asked CJ if he missed someone and he said he misses his dad that passed away too. I then asked Madelyn if she was missing someone (I know she is) and she answered her China mom and dad. I went out on a limb and asked what she misses the most. My eyes were welling and my throat was lumpy but I strongly feel she needs to get it all out to fully heal from her loss. She stated she misses dinner time with them. Oh my heart. I just picture her at the dinner table with them, laughing and being silly like she is with us. How do you mend her broken heart? I then sat real close to her, held her in my arms and told her how sorry I was that she was missing them so much and how I wished for her one day she could go back to Wuhan to see them and I added that I don't know why God chose for her to leave her China family to be apart of ours but we are so happy she is here. She looked at me very seriously and firmly and stated this. " Mom, I know why I am here. My China mom is going to be dead soon. Her doctor told her because she is sick in her stomach, no one could take care of me so God gave me to you and daddy" I type through tears because my 9 year old knows why God did the amazing thing He did for her precious life. He gave her a forever family that would pour the power of Jesus on her and show her that life in Christ will set her free and she gets it! WOW. CJ and I looked at each other is complete awe at our little treasure. So that evening as I was going to bed, I checked on all my kiddies. Madelyn of course was still awake, I gave her lots of hugs and told her how much I loved her and how daddy and I are so grateful she's our daughter. We said good night and I went to bed. As I laid there, I wept. I could not control it. It felt too big for me so I went into prayer for my daughter. Within minutes, I was back in her room gathering her pillow and walked her back with me. I cradled her in my arms and we prayed together. I told her I never want her to bottle things up inside (What's bottled up mom? =) and I want her to know she can tell me anything. She replied, anything? Yep, I answered anything. Ok mom, I have something to tell you (insert stomach dropping). She continued, when I was 4 years old my China mom and dad worked so my sister (foster parents daughter, age 20 at the time) would babysit me until they came home from work. "Well, she hit me lots". I couldn't speak. All I could muster up was "Hit you?" "Yeah, I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself cuz my hands not good so I would cry and cry because I had to go potty and then I pee pee my pants and she would hit my face". I asked how many times she did this and she replied about "12 or 15 times." I was without words, I held her and my tears dripped on her head. I told her as best as I could that she would never be hurt again and she answered "I know mom, you love me". Finally I was able to ask her if she ever told her parents what happened and she said she did and that her China mom hit her sister with the broom until she cried and from that point on she was never alone with her again. So from age 4 until 5 Madelyn suffered from physical abuse. Of course, we are angry and hurt for our little girl. She was loved by her parents but not loved by her sister and I feel she was probably maybe jealous of Madelyn and took her anger out on our girl. Madelyn told me her sister was not good in her head so we both agreed we needed to pray a lot for her and we do. You see, when you adopt an older child they were without you for years and years, they have a past life of being vulnerable and alone and if by the Grace of God they come out of the life of an orphan most likely they'll join a family that doesn't speak their language so it's months before the healing can begin. If you are just coming home or will be going to get your older child soon, my advice is to be very patient because there is so much more to them than what is written about them on the report from the file. There is pain and suffering that most likely took place and lots of loss to top it off. I feel in my heart Madelyn saw violence that's why she crumbles so easily at any arguments that occur with the girls but I also see Madelyn is becoming more and more comfortable in her own skin and now that she can talk to me and her daddy she is expressing herself and sharing her precious life with us. I will forever be haunted by what my daughter went through and as we discover her more we may find more painful truths to her life before us but hearing this and praying with her, crying with her, holding her as if she was a baby brought us closer in so many ways. I get her more now than ever and CJ is even more gentler with her now. Behind her wit and sense of humor is a little girl that has lived a lot of life in her short 9 years and carries a great loss in her heart but Madelyn knows why the Lord brought her here and she told me how much she loves Jesus. In my heart and soul, that's all I need to know. Jesus is in the process of healing her broken soul and I know He has big plans for our girl. It's just going to take lots and lots of time. Please pray for all the older kiddos out there that are in the process of getting to know their new family OR for those precious souls that wait to see if their time will ever come. God bless.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


*I tried to break this post in paragraphs but for some reason, I can't. Sorry!!!* I confess, I have neglected my blog...No, I totally forgot my blog! I have so much to update...Here's a little bit of what's been going on around here. • Mid-January my dad found out he had prostate cancer but by the Grace of God he is now cancer free after a successful surgery and a clean pathology report. Thank you Jesus!!! • First week of February, we packed up and drove to Florida for DISNEY WORLD! We had a blast, it was a great time to go as we were able to just walk on some of the rides, no waiting! The longest we waited was about 10 minutes. Madelyn experienced DW for the first time which made it especially sweet. We scheduled a lunch at Cinderella's castle (second time I celebrated my birthday at the castle...LOL) Madelyn and Rachel were speechless when their favorite princess Belle came to our table, they were polite, said hello and gave her a hug, Linzhi on the other hand talked her head off! It was too cute to see how chatty Linzhi was with everyone she met. My little shy baby has turned into a social butterfly. It's amazing how love can change a person. God is good! Trevor was a good sport at the castle and told us that Ariela was his favorite...LOL... She was pretty! We drove instead of flying which I thought would be a challenge but it was actually fun and lots of memories were made. • We have about 6 more weeks of homeschool and I have to say, I am excited for next year! We love it and the girls are flourishing. It's been a God send from day one and Miss Madelyn in now officially bilingual. She can read English with comprehension and her spelling is out of this world. Best educational decision we have made for our kids. • All three girls are in gymnastics this year and absolutely love every minute of it. We're wrapping up mid-May until the fall and I have to admit, I'm looking forward to having a easy going summer of swimming and activities without a schedule • In March, I got an offer to go back to work from my former employer. I left almost exactly two years ago and I was a little heartbroken because I loved my job so much but Rachel and Linzhi were so little that it was just too hard to work from home with them. But God's timing is everything and CJ and I feel this is really a blessing. I had a brief moment of "what am I doing? where am I going to find the time?" but honestly it is working out beautifully!! I work 20 hours per week (any hours I want) from home as a virtual health care recruiter. I recruit in Chicago and Kansas City and I absolutely love it and the girls are old enough now that they can color or play right next to me while I work without any problems. It has required me to get up way too early in order to get school done and regular chores finished but it's all working out. I start my day with the Lord and it truly helps me throughout the day. What would we do without Him??? It also feels good to contribute to the family income especially when the way grocery/gas prices are rising and it's also nice to build our savings for the future. (Maybe for a trip across the world again??????) =) • Linzhi Rose was scheduled to have a muscle transfer on April 27th but yesterday we received a call from the doctors office letting us know we were bumped to June 8th due to her doctor being out on emergency medical leave. We are concerned for her Dr. ,he's a great guy and we wish him well with lots of prayers. I'll keep you all posted if we're bumped again. • CJ is putting together a team of guys to go back to China in October for another mission trip delivering bibles across the border. I am so proud of my husband, I love that his heart is for the Lord and his passion for getting bibles into the hands of all those precious Chinese souls. He'll be gone 10 days so I booked a little getaway for all the kids and me to spend a few days in a quaint little town a few hours away. We plan on doing lots of fun "fallish" things and just hanging out together. I booked a double room at a cute B&B that CJ and I stay in when we go, so it will be a lot of fun. Although,I am going to miss my CJ because that's our special place. • Madelyn is doing very well. I find it's like peeling an onion, there are so many layers to her and little by little she is letting us in to her life in China with her China mom and dad. We have shed many many tears together which is healing for her but heartbreaking to watch. She talks of fondness but there's sadness in her eyes. Madelyn has a deep soul, lots of stuff she's figuring out. One thing that is just so amazing is her passion for Jesus! She just loves her bilingual bible which gave her a good understanding but she wants more! She is such a sponge and can't wait to learn more. It really is amazing to see how her relationship with the Lord is just blossoming. • Rachel Catherine is such a great girl. I just love how she can recite Psalm 23 so beautifully. All three girls can which is so precious. Rachel recites it like she's talking right to Jesus which I'm sure He hears. I also notice that lately Rachel is very interested in the life of Jesus on earth, Crucifixion and Resurrection and asks me questions all the time. Some I can answer, some we look up in the bible and some just can't be answered. Like Madelyn, she accepts Jesus with open arms. • Linzhi Rose, my little peanut...My sweet little Rose that has been given the gift of a servants heart. She has a little trouble saying her "r's" so when she recites Psalm 23, I know the Lord just smiles at how cute she is, I know I do. Linzhi truly is my child that strives to be obedient, the other too try but don't put as much effort into it (ha ha), with Linzhi she is my helper girl, my shadow for the most part. I notice at times she can be hard on herself if she makes a mistake so I'm working with her on that daily. Madelyn is the same way but I'll post about that later. Linzhi has really impressed me this first year of school. She is really a bright girl and loves her Jesus and we love her so very much. • My Trevor. My adult child. How can it be??? Oh my, so many changes coming for him. College!! We all decided on community college for the first 2 years which I think is in his comfort zone and I am happy he's not leaving just yet but I have pulled back on "mothering" him so much and it's nice to see that he's doing just fine without my input all the time (sniff sniff) I don't wake him up for church and haven't for over a year but he manages to get there...late...but he's there and that makes us very proud. Well, there is so much more to talk about and I do want to keep the blog going, I love looking back on all the memories. So I will be back soon and next time with pictures!! God bless!