Family picture

Family picture

Friday, October 29, 2010

Shopping for Sophia

Our garage sale was a success. Thank you for all of your prayers! That money coupled with some money Kevin earned from painting a house gave us enough money to begin our home study . . . which we began today . . . to bring home a daughter waiting for us in China!

My sister-in-law's sister thought of a fun way to help us raise the rest of the money to complete our home study! Thanks Becky!

KEEP READING if you would like to be a part of helping us bring our Sophia home . . . (this post is linked with Linny's post - Shopping for the Orphan)



Silpada Designs Jewelry is sponsoring a fundraiser for little Sophia. Your purchase of .925 Sterling Silver jewelry will tremendously help bring her home!

Order by: Saturday, November 20, 2010

Profit from your purchase of Silpada will go directly to bringing Sophia home!

Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and Eli are looking forward to having Sophia home soon. We hope you can help! You will be purchasing the finest jewelry with a lifetime warranty knowing you are helping a little girl get to her new family.

You can go to the on-line catalog to place your order. Be sure you note on the contact form available on the site that your purchase is for Sophia. You may also call Rebecca Majors to place your order. Thank you!

Rebecca Majors - Independent Silpada Designs Representative

317-213-3017 - for on-line catalog

Checks, Visa, or Master Card accepted

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A rough day at the playground

A really big ouch!

Yesterday Philip fell hard at the playground and tore a gash in his eyelid. Philip is very stoic usually and never cries even though his days consist of rough and tumble play, so I knew right away that something was wrong when I heard his cries!

Sure enough, he had a pretty wide tear on his eyelid that needed a trip to the hospital for some stitches. Our sweet boy scars very easily as evidenced by his last lip and nose revision, and so we knew we needed a plastic surgeon to stitch him up. Thankfully one was available. Philip has looked more scarred and disfigured since that last surgery - so much so that it still leaves a sinking feeling in mine and Kevin's stomach when we see before and after pictures of our precious son's face.

God blessed Philip with an absolutely handsome, beautiful face. His scarring, however, keeps getting worse and worse as time goes by - even drawing up his lip. I have recently gotten the names of plastic surgeons and a new cranio-facial team to check out a second opinion of what can be done to help lessen his scarring. When I brought up how unhappy we were with the outcome of Philip's lip and nose revision surgery, our doctor flippantly said, "Oh well, that may just have to be one of the disappointments in life!" That doctor feels that function comes before appearance. We believe that they go hand-in-hand when dealing with children with cleft lips and palates. We want to give Philip the biggest chance of being the least disfigured that we can. We only wish his doctor felt that way, too.

I shared this with the plastic surgeon from last night's hospital visit, and frankly, he was shocked that our doctor had said that. Last night's doctor feels the way we do - that we should take into account both function and appearance in helping our children with cleft lips. Kids can be so mean on the playground, at school, at church, etc., as they get older. Helping Philip be less scarred is important. Last night's doctor gave us three names of cranio-facial and plastic surgeons he feels are top-notch. The only catch - they live in Chicago, and we are in Indiana. Yikes! That would be a lot of driving for all of the appointments we will need throughout his life.

Will you pray with us as we seek God's direction in all of this? He knows who we should see. God even loves Philip more than we do, and He has his back. We will rest in that knowledge as we seek out further treatment for our amazing little son.

Happy Birthday Dear Elijah

October 23rd was Elijah's actual birthday,
but since Ted was out of town for a wedding,
we celebrated Sunday.

Elijah had "lots" of help from our middle child!
(Who, by the way, had a bit of the "green-eyed-
monster over all the presents and attention Elijah
was receiving! :)

Showing Elijah's new shirt - notice the T-rex with
boxing gloves?? How appropriate for our little bruiser!!

Ted wanted to get in on all of the excitement that
Philip, oops, I mean Elijah was having over his birthday!

Soccer posed for my camera - what a handsome boy!

Waiting patiently for Papa to open all that packaging.

Getting operating instructions from his helpful brother.

Just enjoying making music.

Ah, the sweet melodic sound of a child's guitar!
A happy ending to a happy day.
We love you Elijah!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall time

What would fall be without some fun outdoor activities?

The gang is all here and ready for their hayride.

Spending the day at a dairy farm in Northern Indiana

What a beautiful day!

Enjoying a festival in Lafayette called
The Feast of the Hunter's Moon
with good food and people in costumes of long ago.

Deciding where to go next at the feast.

Good news on our garage sale:

We made half of what is due this coming Friday for our homestudy!

Thank you Father!

And thank you to all who left such sweet and encouraging comments on our garage sale post.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Walking by faith and not by sight

Sorting through the wonderful mounds of donated items.

This post is linked to our dear bloggy friend Linny's blog. Click here to see that post.

Tomorrow, Thursday, October 21, is our first effort at raising the funds to bring Sophia home!

Wow! How far we have come since first applying to adopt back in 2006. I still worked full-time as a teacher and could put aside the necessary funds to begin Philip's adoption. I saw other blogs where they were trying to raise money for their own adoptions and smuggly thought, "Oh that would never be us. We can pay as we go!"

Once home with Philip and having all of his expenses paid, God led us to Elijah! Wow!

I was now a full-time stay-at-home mommy to a toddler, only tutoring part-time (very part-time), and Kevin, still working as a teacher, was also just beginning his small business on the side. But we were nowhere near being able to pay as we went on our second adoption. Instead, God opened up ways to finance our beautiful Eli.

With Elijah home almost nine months, we are still paying off his adoption expenses. Still, we never even entertained the idea of fundraising for his expenses.

But now, as we are seeing God's leading once again into another adoption, (this time a daughter), our hearts are open wide to any possibility. We simply do not have the money to attempt a third adoption in three years. It would have to be all God.

To be honest, we have struggled to make sense of adopting a third time at our age . . .

Many, many people are wondering about our sanity . . .

We are older still than when we first brought Philip home, (and we were older then!)

We have three wonderful blessings already (and us never even thinking all of those years ago that we would be able to have one child, let alone three!!)

And we do not have any reserves for this adoption. It would simply have to be ALL GOD and not us!

But God . . .

Each time we question, He leads us back.

Each time we fear, He calms our souls.

And when we think about this mountain to climb verses bringing home another precious child to love, cherish, nurture, and guide to Jesus,

well, our fears and worries seem awfully small.

So this Thursday (tomorrow) begins our first foray into the world of fundraising. We are holding a garage sale. So many sweet people have already donated items for us to sell to bring Sophia home. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their donations.

We are praying that if this third adoption is just our hearts' desire to bring another child home and not the Lord's leading, God would shut the doors to us on adoption and make it abundantly clear to us to leave this desire behind. We really, really are praying that, giving it over to Him.

But if God truly means for us to have a daughter and sister, then we pray that He flings open wide the doors for us to do so.

Some have said that they are fearful and worried for us (and, honestly, we understand their fears for we have the same fears).

Again, we are needing prayers that we will follow God's leading on this adoption, whether that means seeing the doors shut and letting go of it or seeing the doors open wide
and running to it.

Many are already praying that very thing. How beautiful to have them on board to whatever God is calling us to do no matter how topsy-turvy it may look because we know that what often looks foolish to men is wise to God. He doesn't make mistakes.

We just can't imagine meeting Jesus face to face one day and having to tell Him why we felt we couldn't adopt again when He was clearly leading us to do so. We just can't imagine turning down the precious gift of a daughter to love and cherish if we are truly meant to have her. We are trying so hard to walk by faith and not by sight at this point.

It is totally up to Him.

All we ask is for your prayers for us to know the difference, for us to be able to see God's clear leading to or away from this adoption, and if God does want to bless us with a precious daughter that He would pour out joyful blessings to bring Sophia home.

For we know that nothing is impossible with (our) God - Luke 1:37.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Elijah's first birthday party home

Today Elijah had his first birthday party home!

When everyone was singing "Happy Birthday" to him,
it really touched me to stop and think

"What if?"

What if his Chinese birthmom had not chosen life?

What if someone had not found him in the park that day?

What if we had not followed God's leading to bring him home?

Elijah is such a treasure and a miracle!

Thanking our God for this wonderful, amazing little boy
who is our son and brother.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A sweet visit from special people

This picture of Ted, Dad, Philip, and Uncle Al
was taken in May of 2009.

My aunt and uncle are visiting my mom all the way
from Virginia. They are here to attend a 50th reunion
for Uncle Al's college (Franklin College). That's the college
my dad attended as well.

Below is a sweet picture of Elijah with Uncle Al who
is my dad's brother. Dad and Uncle Al were best friends.

When Aunt Karen and Uncle Al attended the college reunion, Uncle Al
wore Dad's Franklin ball cap in memory of him. Such a tender thing to do.

I think we are all just missing Dad so very much.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another Thankful Thursday

Today we received a good report from our cardiologist for our Elijah!

There has been no change in the condition of his defect.

It's still there - that pulmonary narrowing above the super-valvula
(not really sure of that spelling!!)

But it hasn't gotten any worse. In fact, our doctor said that he is doing great!

Thank you God for that bit of good news!