Monday, July 21, 2014


On weeks when it is really tough I fall silent. I guess it is my defense. It is really hard to be transparent when I feel as though I have failed as a mom and wife. These past several weeks have been really tough.

I rest assured in knowing that God would never call me to something that he will not equip me. I cling to His Word. Satan is so powerful and is oftentimes successful in convincing me that I have failed.

We have definitely been busy here the past few weeks. Our older boys have been approached by three neighbors to cut their lawns. They do a great job! I have to say that Jeremy is responsible for that. He is very particular with our lawn and has been teaching the boys for the past few years how to cut grass.

I was busy painting our front door and sprucing up the porch.

Micah helped sand and paint Mariah's bathroom stool.
Selah, Rebecca, and Ben worked on their name letters for their bedrooms.

They turned out really nice!
In all honesty, Ben did one letter of his name then disappeared. He was found on the front porch playing with a few Legos.
Mariah stays busy at speech every Monday and Wednesday.
Kyle and Micah have been practicing early each Sunday for a special teen night at church.
Mariah has loved to shop with Daddy at Lowes. She is sitting on top of a stack of sidewalk pavers on the cart. None of which I would ever allow. But I was not there. And I admit she sure is cute!
Then shopping inside all while driving her car/cart and talking on her Barbie phone!

I cannot forget that if she is out of her booster she believes all food is hers. She went to the drawer, grabbed a spoon and helped herself to Daddy's homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!
This past Saturday we had a wedding to attend. Our older boys were cameramen. The bride was a girl from our church who has the sweetest personality.
We have a hard time fitting everyone in a single "selfie". So we broke up the groups. Oh Ben! Sigh!!!!
Two of our girls!
Selah was so excited to go to an American wedding. She did tell us she went to one in China. The director from her first orphanage took the children to her son's wedding. She literally was on the edge of her seat.

She asked me to pull some of her hair back and give it a twist. She wore a special bracelet and her watch that we bought her in China that she has not worn since.

Here was the centerpiece at the reception. Obviously we were at table 7!
Goofy boys!
One of the few photos with Micah. Sorry buddy!
Then we had to take advantage of the free photo offer at the wedding. This perfectly portrays my life!
After months of asking Selah if she wanted a bicycle we noticed she might be ready to accept our offer. At fourteen years old she owns her very first bicycle.
And we also got Mariah her first bicycle!
Then tonight after church Selah was hanging out in our bedroom. For some reason she was interested in learning how to tie a necktie. Jeremy was teaching her. I tried to get a photo of him behind her as she allowed him to get close but they moved before I was ready. 
Selah struggles to see any photos of herself. So she usually clings to Rebecca. Mariah was the closest other child so she got pulled in. Selah's arm is not around Jeremy but she allows him to be close.

Selah is learning how families love each other. We have no conditions. We just love in spite of our flaws. I think it is mind-boggling to her. 

She asked me to cut one of her fingernails the other night, which was odd because she always does that on her own. I took that time to show her how to push your cuticles back. She had never seen that before. She then asked me to paint her toe nails and fingernails. These are close activities that I never take for granted. She initiated and I gladly responded. It was so very sweet. Closeness is really hard for her.

As difficult as some of these weeks can be I would not change a thing!

We pray that she gains more trust. We can only imagine the hurts she must have experienced to be such a reserved little girl. We mostly let her set the pace. And it is slow at times. It feels like a snail's pace at times. But she has begun to emerge from this shell of a child who we first met almost 7 months ago.

Older child adoptions are tough. We knew this. But knowing that does not give us the right to turn our backs on a child in desperate need of a family. A child whose file was looked at and returned countless times. We now know the reason for her file being turned back in was that God was keeping her for us! Selah has so much to offer. She is hilarious. She is very intelligent. She is sweet.

Just today on our way home from church she asked me what "h-u-m-i-l-i-t-y" means. She also asked what "l-o-w-l-y" meant. I explained. Then I told her she has much humility. I would guess that low self-esteem is more accurate. She sees no value in herself. After all, she lived as an orphan for 14 years in a country where there is little value in the lives of orphans. We are desperate to show her how loved she is. It is clear to us that she is a "thinker". 

I am reminded of a verse

Psalm 1:3
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

We are definitely learning more patience. We know that God has big plans for Selah's life!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


My days are not exactly relaxing. No complaints from me just letting you know why you may not hear from me quite as often. 
Our Rebecca celebrated her 12th birthday a little more than a week ago. How can it be twelve years since she made that early appearance?
She got her first brand new bicycle! We let her pick.
Selah set the dining room table for Rebecca's birthday dinner. Mariah decided to snuggle just a little bit more than usual!
It was such a good day. Happy birthday my sweet girl! She enjoyed her gifts.
Jeremy made a quick trip home to PA so he could pick up a few things for our church. He left at 8:30 in the morning and walked back in the door at 12:45am. Not much of a day to enjoy him being home. 

The truck was only a two-seater. Micah ended up going since Kyle had gone home with Jeremy a few months ago.
Their trip home was late but uneventful! I was thankful but not thrilled this photo was taken as they drove through the south bound Fort Pitt Tunnel. He was driving!!!
They made a quick stop at my parent's house to check on the progress of my dad's new garage.
While Jeremy and Micah were in Pittsburgh I took the other kids shopping. Mariah insisted on wearing her cape. She calls herself "Super Mo"! Never a dull moment here!
Then we celebrated our country's independence! It was Selah's first July 4th celebration.
As usual, Jeremy held our annual Fourth of July wiffle ball game.
Silly, goofy Micah.
Mariah's new look!
A typical afternoon look at my front porch.
Ben and his good friend/neighbor, Nate!
This was a text I received from my hubby. No words, just this photo. I'm glad he has a sense of humor!
Mariah loves to play outside but the kids are not always thrilled to keep an eye on her. While I fix supper she plays on our deck. Her Polly Pockets went swimming!
Family photo from our Sunday Independence Day service at church.