For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

Monday, April 30, 2012

I Didn't Know!

We received a big surprise today. One that had Josiah smiling and staring at himself...........

On a bottle of Heinz!

Since 'ketchup' is his favorite food group (I've even seen him dip broccoli in it.), seeing his very own cute little face on a bottle just made his day!

Only one problem......I have no idea who sent it to us. We would love to thank you properly. The whole family was tickled to see Josiah's Ketchup.

Would the sweet person who sent it *and all the smiles we've seen since* please step forward?

Oh and yes, Josiah has jammie pants on that do not begin to match his shirt. For my friends who are unfamiliar with IA and toddler adoption, it's the *least* of my concerns now. We're ok with clothes that don't match~ as long as he's ok with it. Just so you know.

Friday, April 27, 2012

They're Home!!!

It's wonderful to have my family all under one roof again! I find myself thanking God repeatedly this morning.

I have much to say on Josiah's homecoming but it will have to wait for a later post.

As for the boys, it didn't take them long to come down to our bedroom and find Josiah, who was still sleeping. Not for long, though. Haha. The boys woke him up. I expected some grumpiness or timidity ~nope! Josiah got right up and hugged Moses. He tried to hug Judah but he (Judah) ran off. Instead, Judah brought Josiah his *favorite* car to share with him. Makes my Mommy-heart happy! They were off and running together. Playing, making the bubble wands into swords. (A total boy thing) Max wanted a picture of himself with his brothers. It was so cute~ Josiah HAD to sit between Judah and Moses.

We're already getting a glimpse of how things may shake out between the 3 of them. Judah and Josiah were running and playing together ~during which Moses felt left out. Moses and Josiah sat and played blocks together. Since Judah's not really one to sit and play anything~ he felt left out. And made his presence known by hitting the table to knock down the blocks. How rude!

Chloe and Max were thrilled to get their hands on their baby sister.

It's been a great morning here!

More later.......

They're Home!!!2

They're Home!!!3

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

They're Off!

Mario and the kids are on their first flight home of their 24 hour home-bound adventure. It's not the 'long' one but will be a good opener for Josiah. His last flight was difficult, at best. Mario sent me a couple quick pictures from the plane while boarding and it wasn't pretty. My boy looks scared. Please pray for their safety. Also, keep praying for Josiah's peace and that God would give Mario the patience, wisdom and understanding needed to handle a frightened toddler.

Thank you to all my faithful family and friends who have shown love to us in so many ways over these last two weeks.

Last Day in China3

Last Day In China!

Today was their LAST FULL DAY IN CHINA!!! Oh my! The minutes are ticking away. I *FINALLY* get to meet my son. I get my husband back. My children will all be under one roof. So many good things come to me tomorrow evening. God willing, of course.

Mario and the kids took the subway to the zoo. We went there in 2010 when we adopted Moses. It was, shall we say, interesting. Not at all like a zoo here in the states. Not a lot of 'habitats' or environment based places for the animals. Think concrete, chain-link fences and glass. One up side, you have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animals. For example, Chloe and Max were able to feed the giraffes. Josiah wanted nothing to do with it. Looking at those crazy, long tongues~ I can't blame him.

Dinner was pizza in the room while they packed. (YIPPEE! Pack up and come home to me!) It seems western food is not going to be a problem for Josiah. My boy ate 4 slices! Oh grocery bill~i think you may be expanding......

Finally, my sweet husband has been hanging out with another lady. Yep. I don't mind though. She's got nothing on me! She's bronze and big and hangs out in front of the well-known Lucy's in GZ.

I'm grateful to my God! He is good and His love endures forever!! The good things He has done, no man can take credit for or claim as His own.

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Last Day in China2

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Garden Hotel

Every time we have gone to China, our stay in GZ was at the White Swan. Not this time. Mario and the kids are staying at The Garden Hotel.

The pictures Mario has sent are stunning. Even the grass is vacuumed. (I'm hoping Mario isn't getting any crazy ideas there.)

They have one more day in GZ and then they are on their way HOME. Please continue to pray for Josiah and that trip. Oh Son, I hope you're ready to meet your mommy. I can hardly wait.

Candy Wars

It finally happened! For years, I have been hiding the boys' candy and treats, doling them out as I saw fit and as a reward.

Today I realized my stash of treats had been infiltrated. Entire bags ~GONE! Wrappers strewn about in victorious celebration. Eggs~broken open.

For two weeks, since Mario has been gone, Judah has been walking around chewing gum or some other treat and looking rather smug. I thought he was just getting the gum from his sister's purse. How naïve! I should have known when he looked at me, smiled and raised his eyebrows a few times~ he had gotten something past me. Something BIG.

What a clever little boy- to strike when I'm two helpers down. I questioned him but got nothing more than an "I don't know, Mommy." Oh and a tour of the girls' room and where THEY hide their candy from Judah and Moses. Good to know. He's already found their stash.

So, what's all the fuss? Why all the covert operations? My boy, Judah is an addict. A candy addict. He can smell it miles away. He wants to know what you're chewing and smell your mouth for traces of the sweet stuff you may not be sharing. He breaks out in smiles and well wishes when he gets it~ but becomes violent and angry when the 'good feelings' are over. My poor Judah simply can't handle the sugar.

Now, I'm off on Operation Recovery. Yes, I'll have to secretly watch him. I'll be following him. Tracking him. He's good, but I'm Mommy! Mommy always wins.

Monday, April 23, 2012


It looks like Mario and the kids are having a better time in GZ. The hotel is extravagant and large, with a living area and separate bedroom. That makes all the difference when you have a toddler who is always on the move and exploring.

Skyping has improved and I've even managed to maintain Josiah's attention for more than a cool glance in my direction. Seeing my family while they are away is like a cool breeze on a hot day. It refreshes my heart and reminds me of why we are apart. A child has been redeemed! He is NOT an orphan. God has restored to him a family~ giving him more than he could have ever dreamed! Brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends~ who love him, who have prayed for him.

Speaking of that, Sunday, it was brought to my attention that one young boy in our church has made Josiah a regular prayer request. What an encouragement to my heart! Calvin, you keep praying for Josiah to hear. Our God is mighty and his Word says He causes the deaf to hear! He can do anything He wills. The faith of children amazes me.

14 "'Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD. Lev. 19:14

18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll,
and out of gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind will see.

19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD;
the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 29:18-19

 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.". Mark 7:36-37

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Not Much to Say.....

I don't have a lot to say this post. The medical exam is over. He freaked out for height and weight but did just fine for the rest.

Since they are doing so little sight-seeing this trip (compared to our last two trips) Daddy has had time to workout in the mornings. Unfortunately for Chloe, she has no where to hide. Haha. My girl's been working out. I enjoy seeing those pics.

Please be praying for Mario and the kids' trip home. 24 hours of traveling is difficult for anyone. Our boy has been through so many changes a short period of time. He has been introduced to new people, new foods, new smells and new experiences. All without the ability of hearing why (if it could help). His last plane ride was difficult and challenging. Pray for his peace and for Mario to have patience and wisdom.

Friday, April 20, 2012

GZ! Finally!


Last Day in Jinan

Today was interesting.........

Mario and the kids went to the police station to pick up Josiah's passport. Mario thinks Josiah's screaming might have actually helped get his passport sooner. No one wanted to listen to it..... Needless to say, he was not a happy boy.

They also visited a park. The parks in China never disappoint when one wishes to people watch. We're not talking walking trails and dutiful pet owners picking up after their dogs. There are no swings, slides or monkey bars. This time, there was an opera. An opera ~at the park. Mario thought they were joking at first, but his guide assured him it was real and the people watching clapped with pleasure. So different. And interesting.

It was a tough day for Mario and Josiah. Our little guy was less than cooperative and happy. He didn't want to walk and didn't want to be held. So, Mario bought a stroller. Best solution all the way around. Josiah liked the stroller
and Mario's arms got a break from carrying him.
Josiah did find one thing to be happy about today.......KETCHUP! As you can see, he's licking it off the paper. He even asked for more. Not to eat with something. Just to eat. Poor baby. Daddy said no! But Mommy, she understands the love for ketchup. Come home, Son, and
we'll bond over a bottle of Heinz. Or maybe some Hunts because it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup.
For my faithful friends who pray for us but are unaware of the challenges of IA (International Adoption). The 'work' is hardly over because he smiles for pictures and is affectionate towards his father. Not even close. He has much to learn about being a son and having parents. He'll have to learn how to be a brother and how to follow rules, how to obey, how to communicate effectively his needs. He needs to learn appropriate behaviors and appropriate responses to disappointment. He has to learn how to interact in a healthy way with other people. It's so much for our little guy to absorb and take in right now. Please continue to pray for Mario~that he would be patient and loving when Josiah is angry and ungrateful because he is scared and doesn't understand. For Josiah~that God would give him understanding and peace and that his heart would know the words we can't verbalize to him.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Last Day in Jinan

Last Day in Jinan

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jinan~Wednesday Pics


Josiah continues to do well. He seems more relaxed and happy every time I talk to Mario. He LOVES his daddy and is now doing well with Chloe and Max too. (For a while he was all about daddy). When we skype I can hear him giggling in the background. It is music to my ears.

They did some sight seeing today. As you can see, Josiah was completely entertained by the birds. Mario sent me my favorite picture to date, Josiah's little arm is wrapped around Mario's neck. Can't you just see the love?

Father, You have been so good to us. Far better than we ever imagined! Thank you for giving us this little boy, for making him a part of our family. We praise You and yet, ask for more still. Give us wisdom and understanding to know how best to parent and train him. Let his heart trust in us. More importantly, let us point to You teaching him to look to You and trust in You. In Jesus' name. Amen

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Life at the House

For those of us who have been left behind, life is no less an adventure. Take today for instance. While Lillie and Lyza are sweet and quiet, the boys~ not so much.

Moses and Judah like action and movement! They want dinosaurs and cars in big piles of sand. They want the sun in their eyes and the wind in their hair. (what little hair my baldish Judah has) They need to run, jump and cause destruction. Yes, you read that right.......DESTRUCTION!

Today it was the apple tree. The defenseless tiny apple tree we have been growing in our back yard. Not uprooted. No. That's for amateurs. This unnamed child snapped it. At the base. Now, I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I'm not an orchard owner. I don't know what to do, if anything, to save this tree. But, I'll google it. I suppose being a mommy has taught me far more than any liberal institution of higher learning I have ever attended. As for the tree, it's now on my back deck. So much for apples in the back yard. It was a nice thought.

To his credit, the 'unnamed child' did promptly go and pick dandelions (the fuzzy ones, of course) and come to me with his *award winning, million dollar, I'm sorry Mommy* smile.