My Dear Friends, It has been a while since I have posted any thing, mostly because I simply can not get alone time to get on the computer and a clear thought together long enough to post. Our Christmas was wonderful. Last Christmas we had just received our match with Cali and this Christmas she is home. It is hard to believe sometimes all that has happened in the past two and one half years. Our family has grown from 4 children to six and we have traveled to China twice. We have also been blessed to meet incredible people, whom we now call friends in this journey. God opened the adoption door for us and what an incredible blessing it has been. Our family fills the house, what more can a mother prayer for? As we all come to close the year 2008, I look forward to what God has planned for each of us. I take comfort in that God has already made all the plans, we just need to look to Him for the answers.
Adoption is so much more than just adopting one child into your family. The little girl in the picture with Greyson was adopted into her forever family when we were adopting Cali. Our families have become friends, more than friends, they are family. Little Sophie is going into surgery tomorrow at 1:30 pm. She is having a non working kidney removed and some corrective surgery. She and her family need your prayers. All of these little girls from China have been through so much in their short lives, I have a hard time just pondering what they feel. Sophie is a spunky little girl that has a family that loves her and just wants her well and home. Thank you for praying. If you go on to my side bars, her blog is "journey to our princess".
Here is the first,of many, apologies I will offer to my sweet Cali. If you scroll down on the side bar and look at the photos that we got from China while we were waiting for Cali, there is one where it looks like Cali is pouting. I had imagined that they told her it was time to leave the park and she was objecting. Well now I realize that that is Cali's way of kissing. She will hold out her lip and make a sweet little noise until you respond and complete her kiss. She my sweet, sweet Cali, I apologize in assuming that you were pouting. You are my sweet kisser. I love you so...your mommy
The sun rise was beautiful at the beach. Have you seen the new Tinker Bell movie? It is way cute and the girls love it but...listen to the opening of the movie. The woman speaking is wondering who creates the beauty of nature, the seasons, the colors of the world, the sun rises. Well you know where she goes with it, but isn't it great to not have to wonder but just be able to enjoy what HE created and the beauty of it all.
Well today is election day. Tomorrow we will have a different USA. Either way our country will going in a new direction. I wore my McCain-Palin shirt into Wholefoods yesterday, I did make it out alive. I wore my Bush-Cheney sweat shirt into the polling both today. I did get some weird looks. Hey, this is what makes our country go round. It does sadden me that people would vote either for or against some one just on the color of their skin. It really is a heart issue for me. But that is just me. Some one yesterday told me their pastor, who is african-american by color, but is chosen by God to be a Christian, told his congregation to vote for the person who glorifies the word of God. The big picture is do what is right, do what is just, do what the Lord calls each of us to do every day, not just in election day. And we all know that God is in control, even today!
For 30 years Focus on the Family has been nurturing and defending families worldwide. Visit www.family.org for articles and resources to help you and your family thrive. "You are the defender of orphans ... Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless." Psalm 10:14, 17 Every family is a gift from God. That includes the family you came from, the family you've created and the institution of family. It's worthy of every ounce of attention, effort and care you can apply to it. Our primary responsibility is first and foremost to our immediate family. However, we are also called to reach out to and defend the defenseless. Every child deserves a family. Today, I would like to introduce you to some of the important work Focus on the Family® and special people like you are doing together in the ministry of orphan care. Are you ready to be stunned? The United Nations counts 143 million kids around the world as orphans. 143 million innocent children are waiting for love and support. That statistic simply makes my heart ache.
The Orphan Crisis Recognizing that the severity of today's orphan crisis is bigger than any one organization, Focus on the Family has joined together with FamilyLife and Shaohannah's Hope to launch a long term, nationwide campaign called Voice of the Orphan™. This campaign seeks to raise the awareness of the orphan crisis and spur fellow Christians to action. Worldwide, orphans have been robbed of their parents by disease, starvation or armed conflict. An even more alarming epidemic is the rapidly increasing child abandonment rate due to poverty, restrictive population control policies, disabilities and biased cultural traditions. Is this consistent with God's plan? We think not. Why This Matters Even in the U.S., the consequences of neglecting our waiting children are horrifying. *30% of all the homeless adults in the United States spent time in foster care. *One in three youth who turn 18 and leave foster care resort to stealing, prostitution, or selling drugs. One in four spend time in jail or prison. "If you have large numbers of orphans who are rootless and foodless, and bewildered by their position, and feeling pretty angry and anti-social about what has happened to them ... you have the possibility of real instability ... Poverty can be the basis for the attraction of extremist groups." - Ambassador Stephen Lewis, the UN Special Envoy on HIV and AIDS in Africa. What You Can Do Saving Levi From hopelessness to dramatic recovery from burns on 70 percent of his body, Levi is truly a stunning example of God's healing hand. Help for orphans can take many forms. You can: pray for them, speak up for them, mentor vulnerable children and support those who directly support these young ones. It doesn't require that you have unlimited resources or that you be a high-profile celebrity. A good place to start is to become informed. I highly encourage you to visit VoiceoftheOrphan.org. There you'll find more specific statistics of the scope and breadth of this tragedy as well as useful action steps you and your family can take to care for orphans and waiting children. You'll also discover: Why This Matters to God, What God Says, and What Happens to These Kids. Together, we are helping to educate concerned Christians worldwide regarding this crisis, and offer practical ideas on how everyone can get involved in caring for the world's orphans. Thank you for your interest and heart, Jim Daly President and CEO P.S. Praise the Lord for grace! Next week, I'm excited to bring you Focus on the Family Radio Theater's® newest audio epic Amazing Grace, and other tools for keeping your family's faith growing.
The weather is getting chilly and the leaves are turning vivid clors of red, gold and purple. I love the fall, always have, I loved buying school supplies, loved wearing a sweater, the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is no different for me now. I still love new crayons, wearing a sweater and anticipating the holidays. Even more now. The outside world seems so angry right now. Christians being beaten and killed around the world and our politics-how hateful. I am enjoying being able to exit myself from some of it by embrasing our newest addition and learning to be a different, even more colorful family. I am now sitting here pondering the ills of our fallen world and Lily just ran in to give me my space helmet (baby wipe) so that I can go in her space rocket ship. And this is the life. God knows each of us so very well. Please excuse me I have to put my rocket seat belt on. Well Ni Hao KiLan is on TV now so I was allowed off the rocket ship. We safely traveled to the moon and back.. Life is good for us right now but there does seem to be so much suffering going on. Ofcourse my thoughts go to the babies left behind in so many places with no family in sight. No Mommies to keep them warm in the winter or hold them through the night. Take a moment and pray for them. I know God has a plan for them. It is our job, each and everyone of us to pray them. Does that seem out of line, me telling you to pray for the orphan, well if you are a believer then it is not me telling you. It is clearly written in the bible that we are to take care of the widow and orphan. I know that not all of us can adopt but you can pray the orphan. God is constant for all of us.
I am so thankful that our Cali was home for her second birthday. She has been home now for one month and the changes are incredible. It is as if she were a caterpillar waiting to burst from her cocoon. She is now our beautiful butterfly. Happy birthday little one. We love you.
Stacey has been our family friend since she was 13, now our little girl is turning 25 and is a super teacher in Greensboro. She came for a short visit (too short for Lily since Stacey did not bring her PJs) But having Stacey visit allowed Greg and I to go out for dinner-just the two of us. What a treat. Cali and Lily did great with Stacey. The girls are doing so much better at night time as well. They still get up at night but it is really to check if I am still around and they go back to sleep quickly and quietly :-) Cali has been taking a nap at 11:30 which great since I have to pick up the older girls from school around 2:30. Lily is loving on Cali a bit more these days which makes the Mommy very happy.
We brought Cali to UNC today to the Cleft Palate clinic. It was a long day, we were there from 8:00am- 2:30pm. But every report was BETTER than we expected. She does have a small hole in her gum to her nose. She will need maybe two or three surgeries in the future, but not until she is about 5 years old. Her speech is great, she was able to say the important sounds-"b and d" clearly for the speech pathologist. The children psychologist was amazed by her attachment and adjustment so far. We also saw a dentist, pediatric dentist, surgeon, audiologist, ENT and I think more docs but honestly I can not remember. All and all she did great and we are so very grateful to the team at UNC
Cali joined our family one month ago. Wow, she is saying at least ten words in English and hugging and kissing all of us. My mother can not get enough of her. Each day brings out aliitle more "Cali" She is laughing more and crying less. She is an animal lover and loves to be outside with all the kids on our street. She is becoming one of the gang. They are so good to her. Each day is a new adventure. Thank you God for the mercy and favor you have shown us, more than we deserve. Tomorrow we go to UNC Medical Center to the cleft palate clinic. It will be a long day but I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say. She is perfect in our eyes, regardless of what the docs may tell us tomorrow. Please pray for Cali,she may not be a happy camper tomorrow. Sleep tight.
Photo from Mary Beth Chapman's trip to open Maria's Big House of Hope
Christmas Eve 2007
Our Christmas gift was Cali's referral!
Cali is home!!
Mommy and Lily 6/9/08
CALI'S FIRST PHOTO !
Can Cali be any cuter?
Look at that pout-we are in trouble! 6/19/2008
Maybe she is looking for us-we'll be there soon!
A helping hand
Lily at the beach
life is good!
Our journey of a thousand miles began with one step...
We are so very happy to announce the addition of our newest daughter, Cali Christine. We felt strongly that Cali have a family name so we chose Christine, Greg's maternal grandmother's name. Cali is a beautiful 22 month old (DOB 10/12/2006). She is from the Fujian Province of China. She is being cared for in the Xiamen SWI orphanage.Fujian is a southern coastal province of China. As we are about to embark on another incredible journey of adoption from China we ask that you come beside as prayer partners. We pray for Cali, her caretakers, her biological family, and the other children that are still waiting for their forever families. We thank you in advance for the blanket of prayers that you will place over our family. Funny 20 years ago when Greg and I got married our wedding invitations were inscribed with "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" How were we to know then how tied we would be to this ancient Chinese saying. Cali has a cleft lip and a cleft palate. She has had one surgery in China. Her follow up surgeries will be done at UNC Medical center. I have heard the staff there are just incredible. How blessed we are to be so close to such a great medical center. We hope to travel this summer but international adoption always has an element of uncertainty as far as travel dates. We ofcourse will keep you posted.
Cali's Gotcha Day was September 1, 2008
wonder why we adopt?.. love, jody (to listen-pause the music in the pink box below)
Every call has a beginning A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother's heart A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey set before him. A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns....... Casting its first light on a chosen threshold. A gentle knock...a closed door opens. A sacred invitation sent by the Father... Leads to the other side of the world. Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows Praying for someone to care.... And then one morning, On an ordinary day An orphan's life changes...... God sends them a second chance........Through YOU.....
Peter and Lily goofing around.
Legacy of the Adopted Child Author Unknown
Once there were two women who never knew each other One you do not remember the other you call Mother Two different lives shaped to make you one One became your guidingstarthe other became your sun first one gave you life and the second taught you to live it The first gave you a need for love The second was there to give it One gave you a nationality The other gave you a name One gave you a talent The other gave you aim One gave you emotions The other calmed your fears One saw your first sweet smile The other dried your tears One sought for you a home that she could not provide The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied And now you ask me through your tears The age old question unanswered through the years Heredity or environment which are you a product of? Neither my darling neither, just two different kinds of Love.