The past few months have brought events to our immediate family that none of us could have imagined just a few short months ago. The photo attached was taken this past Thanksgiving. Greg was on call so we could not go the beach, as we had done for the past several years. We were a bit disappointed but we decided that we would take the opportunity to get some new family photos of Greg's side of the family. In the past 3 years Greg's brother had three children and we brought home Cali and Lily. I some how convinced, maybe forced Greg's mom into some of the photos (she hates herself in pictures). For Christmas I made Greg's mom a great photo book from snapfish with the photos from that day. She thought it was silly at first but it became a cherished gift. In April, Greg's brother (center photo, big smile) was killed riding his motorcycle. He left behind his two year old twins, and 3 year old son.Greg's mom, Estelle was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 3 weeks ago.We had her funeral today.Greg grew up with his mom and brother, he misses them today. I am going to say some things that may offend some one reading this, because in all honesty I do not know many of you who read this blog. Please know that it my intention NOT to offend but really share. My dad and brother both died when I was a teenager. It was an awful, dark time in my life. We were raised in a catholic home, but I can say I had no relationship with Jesus. It was a dark,dark, lonely place to be.Both Greg's mom and brother were buried in a catholic service. Here is the place where I may offend... I see so clearly now how I became so dark after loosing my brother and father. whom I loved very, very much. Listening to both priests recently, two different churches, I heard them both to say, pray that you are good enough, pray that those who have preceded you in death will work to get you into heaven, pray that your prayers can be heard so that they can get into heaven. Well, as a teenager and me today I will NEVER be good enough, I will NEVER be able to pray some one into heaven and I hope no one is "working" in heaven for me. Getting into heaven is between me and Jesus. It is knowing that HE died for me, He loves me (even when I do not love Him), It is about Jesus and nothing else. Listening to these two funerals brought me back to an ugly place but I am rejoicing that I am no longer there, I am a new creation in Christ. I am still sad for what may have been, for three little boys that do not have an earthly father. I am sad for my husband to have lost so much so soon. I am sad for my children to have lost a very special uncle and crazy grandma. But I am also happy that they are no longer suffering and that I can rest in the arms of Jesus.
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.