Family picture

Family picture

Thursday, August 27, 2009


If you feel led, would you please pray today for a very sweet family who has encouraged us and countless other adoptive families to keep going in our adoption journeys?

Their names are Linny and Dw. If you have a few minutes, you can hop on over to their blog by clicking here. Through no fault of their own, they have had to wait 18 months since locking in their little Jubilee in Ch*na. Their adoption agency called just yesterday with the news that Ch*na thinks their paperwork is taking too long, and they have withdrawn their approval for Linny and Dw to adopt Jubiliee. This is the second time this has happened to sweet little Jubilee, and not only are DW and Linny crushed for themselves, they are also heartbroken for Jubilee. She turns 8 the day after Christmas, and they feel she needs to come home now! She has had to wait far too long for her forever family.

We know that our God is so much bigger than governments and the situations down here on earth. Please join with us in praying that Ch*na's heart is touched, that they grant approval again for this family, and that Linny and DW will get to bring home their little daughter soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A crazy lady at the International Doctor's office

Well, I have sunk to a new low. Maybe you can relate??

Today I had an appointment at our
international doctor's office
to go over Eli's information and get any new travel information.

The appointment was for 2:00 on the north side of town. EASY.

I had everything under control.

I even had Eli's info and all of our shot records
in a packet on the table in the living room.

I spent the morning working in the garden with Philip playing in his sandbox.
I even harvested some carrots and tomatoes and cooked them
for our very delicious lunch feeling very pleased to
be living off the land! LOL!!

I showered, put on a nice outfit, got Philip ready, and had time to spare.

On the way out of the house I did remember to pick up Philip's
bag full of toys to keep him busy while I chatted with the doctor.

Well . . .

Things began to unravel on the interstate about halfway there.

It seems that I had left the very important packet of information,
the entire reason I was going to see the doctor in the first place, on the table back at home.

Uh oh,

Ok, I figured I could plead for them to let me open up my e-mail account
and print it out at their office, so I tried to stop worrying about that. Yea, right!

Then, once I got off the interstate, all sense of direction left me. I couldn't, for the life of me,
find the turn off to the office.

An office I had been to at least 6 or 7 times before!

I kept driving and nothing looked familiar. The time kept ticking away. In tears,
I finally called my husband and interrupted his classroom! He gave me directions back
to the office.

Simple enough . . . right??

I went back the other way but missed the turn off again!

By this time I am sweating. My once nice outfit was a wrinkled mess, and my deodorant was starting to fail big time, not to mention the tears pouring down my face were leaving a trail
of eye make-up. A really lovely sight to behold. Completely in control!!

When I did finally find the right turn road, a sweet little voice
from the backseat yelled,

"Yea. We find Dr. Belcher's office. You went long way!"

Once in the office, it did not get much better. Oh, they were very nice to me,
offering to see if the doctor could still see me, saying, "It sounds like you have had a bad day." The nice receptionist even called back to the doctor's nurse and kept shaking her head and smiling (no telling what was being said on the other end of the line).

But in the end, they needed to reschedule, and they seemed
to hurry me just a bit (or was that my imagination?). Who can blame them?

What would you do if you had a deranged looking lady,
tears running down her cheeks, saying over and over how sorry and
embarrassed she was and a little four-year-old who kept trying to sneak
back out to the waiting room . . .

As if I really wanted to face all of the
people who were waiting there, hearing all that was taking place
at the desk!

On the way out I stopped by the restroom and happened to look in the mirror!
Don't ya know to top things off -
One side of my hair was sticking straight out -
almost at 90 degrees from my head!
No wonder they hurriedly got me out of the office!

On the way home, Philip kept worrying about what had
just taken place. All he could say was,
"You not bring Eli to doctor's office?"

Notice the 90 degree flip on the side!

I am kind of rethinking this whole international doctor thing - I mean, really,
how important is it to return? Hee, hee! Maybe I will hire a substitute for me on
September 9th - the rescheduled appointment. Any takers??

Or wear a disguise!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Here are some sweet pictures of
our oldest son packing for college

and his little brother "helping"

Yesterday I decided that with Eli coming
now would be a good time to show Philip
his own Gotcha Day video.

We had never shown it to Philip before
because he had such a hard time leaving
his home in China, and we were afraid
showing it to him might make him regress.

But yesterday he sat on my lap and watched it intently.
He laughed at his daddy throughout the video
(because his daddy is a very funny person),
but mostly he watched it.

At the point when we were taking him
back to the hotel for the first time,
he excitedly exclaimed,
"You found me! You found me!
It's long walk to China!!"

How sweet is that? Yes, we did find him! And he found us!


Friday, August 21, 2009



That means the real, official countdown
to Eli

We are SO excited!!!

Hence all of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Today is one of those days in a parent's life . . .

You know the kind. You are happy for your child to move on but oh so sad to have them leave.

Ted goes back to college today for his LAST semester! He will be returning home before Christmas break to begin his student teaching in the spring semester as an English teacher at an area high school.

We can't believe how the summer has flown by! It's been quite a summer, to say the least, with three surgeries, a couple of wonderful trips, and lots and lots of work seeing our small businesses grow.

STILL, there has been much time for just the four of us (Kevin, Ted, Philip, and me) to really, really cement that adoption bonding and attachment thing.

At the first of Ted's break, way back in the spring, Philip was still rejecting him often. Ted was an unknown to Philip because shortly after Philip came home from China last year, Ted was off to college for an entire year. Short weekends/breaks home and then leaving again threw Philip for a loop. He wasn't quite sure just who Ted was.

That's all changed in a wonderful way now. With Ted being home since early May, he and Philip have become so close. Now Philip includes Ted in his prayers, he goes to him often even in public, wants to play with Ted all of the time, and snuggles as much as he can with him.

Today will be hard for Kevin and me (it always is even though Ted is a grown man now), but it will be so much more difficult for Philip. Ted is his best buddy now. We just have to help Philip understand that Ted WILL ALWAYS be his best buddy.

Ted - we love you and miss you already. Just know that we are cheering you on to the finish and can hardly wait to see what God has for your future!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sweet comments and some random thoughts

Thank you to the sweet people who left very sweet comments on my post about Philip's special hidden need. It is really something special to be able to know others understand what this means and are living it too! Your comments brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes at the same time!!

I so wish I could post the super adorable picture of Eli we just received.

He is cuter than ever,
but he still looks so sad
with little furrowed eyebrows and big sad puppy dog eyes.

Oh, how we long to hold him in our arms and turn his frown into a smile.

Ted is finished with work now and getting ready to go back to college for one last semester. Can't believe it has gone by so fast! (Don't moms always say that??)

He is now helping his dad with Kevin's lawn care business as Kevin just started back to a new school year. I would have to say that Ted deserves gold stars, a medal, or something else to recognize how much he helps his mom and dad! (without complaining at all!)

Ted is even going to help me pick out a new "used" car in the next day or two since one of our cars (the one Ted drives to BSU) just died! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH - so many cars to check out and so little time! So many lawns to cut, so many grants for adoption to fill out, on and on, etc.

The bad thing is that we can't even get "Cash for Clunkers" because it has to be able to be driven into the dealership to qualify! Oops! a day or two late on that!! LOL!

I will leave you with a picture of a hard-working fireman in action putting out fires.

Monday, August 10, 2009

HELP . . . on the adoption front


There is a heartbreaking story out of Ch*na this week that affects all of the international adoption community, especially Chin*se adoptions. A family had to return to the United States without their legally adopted daughter for awhile because of a CDC regulation in this country. For a look at their story, go to Jay Scruggs Live Journal and read about their devastating good-bye.

This news affects all future adoptions of young children from Ch*na and really hits home since we intend to travel sometime soon to bring home Eli.

Beginning July 1, the CDC required all immigrants coming into this country who test positive for active TB to be on medication until they test negative before they can enter our country. That procedure can delay entrance into our country by several months. That is a good thing in that TB, which is rearing its ugly head world wide, needs to be stopped.

The thing about these new protocols that is BAD is that the CDC does not make allowances for legally internationally adopted children. As I am understanding the experts, children cannot pass on TB as adults do. Children do not have the lung power to expel the deadly germ, and therefore, they are not considered contagious as adults are. The CDC does make allowances for US families who have a biological child who has active TB returning to this country. They can still bring that child home because the child is a citizen of this country. What does that say about how the CDC values the worth of legally adopted children?

In the case of Harper, she has been on TB medicines (three of them) for two and a half months and is considered not to be contagious now. In fact, a lung x-ray taken recently showed a vast improvement in her lungs from a previously taken x-ray. If this was the family's biological child, there would be no question about letting her travel to come home to the US. By the way, Harper is legally a child of this family now in the eyes of Ch*na.

Adoptive children ARE our children, too! Just the same as biological children. They should have the SAME rights as our biological children, especially if children are not contagious at the time of travel.

There is good news in this story as well. There is a petition you can sign to help the CDC realize how unfair these protocols are in respect to our children. Our legally-adopted children should not be classified as immigrants! You can go to to sign your name to this petition.

There is also legislation waiting for passage before our congressmen and women. That legislation is called the FACE Act - Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act. (S.1359.H.R.3110). To learn more about the FACE Act, click on this link.

The FACE Act legislation considers adopted children as citizens of this country upon adoption in their country of birth.

In other words, Philip would have been a citizen of this country when we legally adopted him in Ch*na instead of needing to wait until he set foot in this country. This would have afforded him all of the privileges of being a US citizen at that moment instead of waiting until we landed in this country.

You can contact your representatives to voice support of the Face Act by clicking on and

These websites are so important to the future of our children. I urge everyone to check them out.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Special needs - special child

Philip with his sweet little three-year-old cousin

Philip has an obvious special need in his cleft palate and lip, making surgery and speech therapy a part of his life for the long haul. Those are the things you can see, but they aren't who he is. They are merely bumps in his road of life. We have specialists working on those areas.

There are other special needs that accompany almost all children who have been adopted later in life like Philip was. They are less easily seen, but they are there nevertheless.

Just the other day Philip and I visited our zoo with my friend and her children. In our little group was a four-year-old and her seven-year-old sister. The seven-year-old noted that even though Philip was four, just like her sister, he seemed much younger. What a wise and perceptive little girl. She was seeing the special needs of a previously institutionalized child up close and personal.

That's known to so many adoptive parents as REAL AGE vs. chronological age. That is knowing the child is an actual age but realizing that child might be a younger age emotionally and developmentally for a variety of reasons.

When Philip first came home he was three years and about four months old. He looked and acted so much like a typical American two-year-old even though he was three.

Since then, he has made such gains in all areas.

We are very proud of him and his progress.

He has gained about a year and a half in a year's time from what we can see which would put him at around 3 1/2 or so. He turned four in March. That still leaves him with a gap, but . . .

Boy is he closing the gap!

However it's still there, and we respect the need to acknowledge it. He is who he is due to his life's experiences. Even though Philip lived in one of the best foster care villages in the world where people dearly loved him and took such good care of him, he was still institutionalized. It was like living in a really good preschool 24/7.

Now he has been in the cocoon of his family for a little over a year. Philip is thriving. But reality still shows up sometimes.

It did that day at the zoo. Before going home from the zoo, I took Philip to a mini-water area for a cool down time. At first it was all new to him, and he approached it with caution and awkwardness (usually his body movement is one of athletic nimbleness when he feels safe and secure) - arms out at odd angles from a soaked shirt, legs spread a little when he would run because of his dripping wet shorts, and mouth half open in a grin, half open in hesitation. He was beginning to enjoy it, but he still was overwhelmed from the sensory stimulation, so his awkwardness showed up.

At that moment my heart just flooded with love for this precious little boy who is our son forever! At the same time, my heart broke for all he has overcome and has yet to overcome in the future.

I looked around at the other children and then back to Philip. Even though there were many children who were much younger than our son, he looked the youngest by far.

Talking about it later to my sister-in-law, I was saying how I just couldn't exactly describe how Philip looked at that moment. She said that maybe he looked NEW.

He did look "new" playing in the water all over again, almost like when he first came home and was becoming accustomed to his forever family and his new home. He looked so precious and amazing and vulnerable at the same time.

It was in that moment and remembering that little girl's comment a few hours before that I felt the pain of his hidden special need that really has nothing to do with his cleft lip and palate. It was also in that moment that I realized all over again how blessed we are to be this little boy's family, to be a part of his growing up time as he reaches his full potential.

Philip at Chuck E.Cheese

And by watching the way he overcomes at this tender age, his full potential will really be something!