Family picture

Family picture

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from our family to yours

Trying to get a picture for our New Year's greeting was a little tricky.
It seems that our littlest had a bit of difficulty striking the right pose. Hee, hee!
Here, take a look and see what I mean.
Not there yet.

Still not there.

Almost . . .


Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Elijah's first Christmas home

Here are a few pictures from Elijah's first Christmas home, surrounded by love, enjoying celebrating Christ's birth. What a Christmas!

From baking a birthday cake for Jesus,

Reading the Christmas story,

Waiting patiently to open presents,

Taking time to hug the furry children,

Helping Papa,

And Teddy, too,

to the beautiful extended family celebrations at both grandmas' homes,

It will be a Christmas for our treasured memories.

The significance of the moment wasn't lost on anyone within earshot at Gram Bourke's when Philip proudly announced that Elijah should go first since it was his first Christmas home. There wasn't a dry eye to be had.

His first Christmas home, his first Christmas ever.

His first of many to come.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 24, 2010

From our home to yours . . .

We are wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Celebrating the birth of Jesus is a highlight of our year, and to think that our Elijah wasn't here last year with us. Instead he was in a cold and stark orphanage receiving only minimal attention to his needs. And look what a change a year makes!

Missing and remembering our dads and other loved ones who are not here on earth this year, but celebrating with our precious loved ones who are here with us.

Giving thanks to God for our wonderful Savior - Christ the Lord!

But the angel of the Lord said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Luke 2:10,11

Sunday, December 19, 2010


This post is a Memorial Monday post. I wrote our first one here. Our God is so good to us. When we see Him working in our lives, we want to find a way to memorialize it just as the Israelites did. Then, because we often tend to forget about the miracles He sends our way, we only have to look in our Memorial Box to remember His goodness. The following story is a good one to remember.

Our home study is moving right along. Today is our last visit with our social worker, and then she will have it ready for review!

Whoo - hoo!

Next stop will be CIS for our fingerprints and clearance from our country to adopt from China.

But first there was this little thing about the fee that is due today.

It is a smacking $800 - which in light of how much an adoption costs from start to finish isn't that much really.

But for us . . .

Right now . . .

And at Christmas time, too . . .

It was going to be tough to come up with.

So we have been praying. . . . . . . . . . Knowing that when God leads, He provides.

We had raised part of the amount through the jewelry party Becky (my sister-in-law's sister) had given us. We were so humbled and touched by Becky's gesture and by the sweet people who ordered from her. Some people even gave us a donation instead of ordering jewelry, and that went into our fund a well. How amazing to be walking along in church or opening a card I had received in the mail to find a donation to our adoption!

Still, as of Thursday night we were about three hundred short.

Wondering how He was going to work it out.

Then the phone call came that Ted's clarinet we were having repaired to be sold would be ready by this weekend, and the profit would be a little over what we had expected.

But, still, a little short.

Then we opened up a Christmas card yesterday from a sweet family from our church. It seems they also had enclosed a check for our Sophia fund. That amount helped make up the shortage.

We will be putting a small piece of jewelry, musical note (for the clarinet sold) and a Christmas card into our Memorial Box to remind us of God's unfailing promises. Where He leads, He will provide.

What a nice Christmas surprise!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ahhh, Christmas Memories

We had our second annual "Decorating of the Gingerbread Houses" today with the grandmothers.

We had a blast!

Some houses were easier than others to make.

Some had a little bit more difficulty than others - hee, hee!

Not naming names or anything.

It was so much fun!

Not everyone participated in the decorating.

Some played with play-doh and even put it in their mouth! Who could that be??

Having the annual "Decorating of the Gingerbread Houses"
is definitely something we should do again next.

Who knows?

Maybe there will be prizes next year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Can you imagine?

Proverbs 24:12 says, "Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act."

Can you imagine these two precious treasures not being home with their family now?

Still living as orphans?

No hope for the future?

No family to love them?

Praising our God that they are home where they belong.

When Sophia comes home, she will complete our little family!

But done fighting for the fatherless, the orphan?


Now that God has opened our eyes to their plight world-wide,
we cannot pretend they are not there.

Please watch this video on Linny's site entitled "Depraved Indifference." It will open your eyes, too!

Just like it did ours as we sat in stunned silence a couple of days ago watching it. It took us by complete surprise because we thought our eyes were already open!

So, finished adopting once Sophia Lin comes home . . . YES.

Finished fighting the cause of the orphan . . . NO!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

James 1:27

Want to see something that really, really makes you think?

It might just change your life.

It changes ours every time we watch it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweet Sophia Lin

Today we got our PA (pre-approval)
Isn't she beautiful!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am thankful for . . .

Our amazing Lord who guides and directs our paths each day . . .

My beautiful family . . .
Both here and already in Heaven . . .

My loving and devoted husband . . .

All of my sweet boys and a daughter who waits for us on the other side of the world . .


Sunday, November 21, 2010

We have a daughter!!

Oh my, oh my!
Do we have news!
We just got word today that we were able to lock in
a beautiful little seven-year-old girl . . .
Praising God for the very exciting news this morning
out of Beijing . . .
We now officially have a daughter half way around the world waiting to come home!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ahhh, happiness is . . .

Happiness is . . .
God's love in your life,
The love of a family,
A warm and comfy place to sleep,
to play, to live,
And a full belly . . .
All of this and more is Elijah's now!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This and That

The other morning the boys and I met up with two families from Philip's China travel group. We played in the park and ate lunch together. It was such a sweet time being with them.

Mary Rose, Elijah, and Philip
(Rachel was hiding from our camera)

Sweet ladies - Cathi and Gloria
It was a little cold outside that day!

Philip loves to pretend "airplane" and made this plane
for us to fly to China. He is quite the little world traveler.

Those seats sure look a whole lot more comfortable than the real thing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A bittersweet birthday

November 10th would have been my dad's 83rd birthday on earth.

But he is celebrating his first birthday in Heaven this year.

Oh Dad, how we miss you!

Today we will be remembering how very much you mean to all of us.

How very special you were.

How very precious life is.

And today we will be celebrating in our hearts (mixed with tears) how very blessed we are to have had a dad and grandpa like you that your passing would leave such a hole.

We truly were blessed to have you love us!

We love you and always will.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Our friend Linny from A Place Called Simplicity and our friend Jocelyn from Wolfe's Home do a post every so often called Memorial Monday. In the book of Joshua, Joshua has the Israelites bring twelve stones from the Jordan River to set up in the camp. This would remind the Israelites about God's power and provision for generations to come. Both Linny and Jocelyn even have a shelf or box to place items in to remind their family of how great our God is and what He has done in their families.

I have a story for Memorial Monday that shows God's power and supernatural might in our ordinary human lives. It happened a couple of weeks ago.

As I mentioned in the post about our garage sale, we had been praying for enough money to begin our home study. We needed $1,000. Our garage sale started out slow, very slow. In fact, the lack of traffic at our sale caused Kevin and me to pray even harder. We felt sure we had been led to go through our home, clean it out, and sell things to bring in funds for our third adoption. We had done that, and here it was garage sale time.

And yet, we had hardly sold anything by the end of the first day.

Our friend Britt stopped by at the end of day one and even prayed with us that God might bring more people to our sale the next day. When I checked our blog later that evening, I saw a comment from Suzanne that said she was praying for God to bring a boatload of people to the sale as well.

And another thing happened that day.

At the end of the day the last customer was someone who looked very familiar to Kevin, but he just couldn't remember where he knew her. He kept whispering to me behind her back that he knew he knew her but could not remember where!

This sweet lady and I got into a conversation about why we were having this particular sale. I shared with her that it was to raise money for our daughter in China to come home. She shared a story about God's leading and provision by telling us how her church had just purchased a new building after a long and stressful time of looking for just the right place. It was a story that showed God's power and provision. She promised to pray for us and took out a pencil and pad of paper to write down our names. When I told her what our last name was, she said, "Oh, I know your husband. He was my son's wrestling coach years ago!" Talk about a divine appointment. Her promise to pray for us bolstered our spirits.

The next day, we were so busy that Kevin had to stay home with me to help man the sale because we had a steady stream of people coming to look. Many things were bought that day, and by day's end, we had made $500. A great garage sale - to be sure!


We still needed to come up with another $500 to pay the first installment of our home study by the Friday after next. We prayed and we prayed throughout that week and into the next week. It seemed that God was once again silent. It was our prayer that if He didn't want us to continue, He would shut doors. I e-mailed our homestudy agency on Thursday morning and explained that even though we felt God would provide if He wanted us to go further, He had not provided the entire $1,000. We were supposed to attend one of their meetings the next day, Friday, October 29th. Would they want us to come even though we could not pay?

They said to come ahead to the meeting, and they would roll over the fee when we felt we could pay for it. That didn't feel right, and so still we prayed, wondering if God was indeed shutting the doors to our Sophia.

When Kevin came home that afternoon, less than 24 hours before we needed to attend our homestudy meeting, he said that his friend had paid him his share of the house they had just finished painting.

The amount he had in his pocket?


I guess you could say God is still opening the door to our bringing home Sophia! What do you think?

Oh, by the way, there was a shelf in our garage sale that didn't sell, just the thing that would be perfect for a Memorial Box. I think we will bring it back into our home, hang it on the wall, and put a garage sale price tag in it to remind us of God's power and provision for that first installment of our homestudy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Two little funny boys

Taking a ride in a wagon is always an adventure . . .

Especially when you have funny eyeball glasses . . .

And a new Cousin Eddy hat that keeps getting in your eyes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cute little trick-or-treaters!

There were some pretty cute goings-on
at our house for Trick-or-Treat night.

Spiderman and his side kick Thomas the Train

They are a sight!

Checking out the pumpkin innards!

Elijah was not too impressed with scooping out the insides.

Finally, Eli felt a little bit more comfortable and began
to enjoy carving the pumpkin.

Once Elijah and Philip started going from house to house getting candy, Eli REALLY began to enjoy the evening. Amazing what a little candy can do!