Category Archives: Uncategorized

Home One Week

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We have been home a little over a week already and this week went by so quickly.  Overall things are going really GOOD!  Caleb is doing fabulous.  He is learning and growing and eating and sleeping and playing and hugging:)  This week Caleb had his first hair cut, first pediatrician visit, and first eye exam.  We had blood drawn and some immunizations.  He is a real trooper:)  Now when I look at the BIG picture I can see how God has prepared our hearts and Caleb’s heart for our unity together as a family.  We are taking each day and making strides.  Caleb watches the other kids and usually knows expectations.  This is a huge help:)  He is understanding more English than he is speaking.  He continues to speak to us mainly in Chinese so we have picked up about about ten words that he uses consistently.

Caleb does have his moments….he has this awful fake cry that he uses when he doesn’t like what you are telling him or he isn’t getting what he wants.  BUT we are already seeing less of this fake cry as we work through expectations and understanding of house rules, etc.  And I believe this will continue to get better as Caleb grows is his language skills.

We are so thankful for the continued encouragement and support on this journey!

Prayer Requests:  Caleb has three appointments next week.  Monday we see the pediatric ophthalmologist at Vandy.  Caleb is very afraid of light and does not like anyone to get near or touch his eyes.  Please pray that he will do well and for wisdom of the physician for screening and treatment.  Tuesday Caleb goes to the dentist.  And Wednesday we are back to Vandy to see another specialist.  Caleb has another medical issue that we were not aware of but believe can be resolved with a minor surgery.

We appreciate your continued prayers for our family and Caleb!

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Caleb Likes/Dislikes

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Caleb LOVES bath, bubbles, and bananas.  Caleb LOVES hugs, hats, and helping.

Caleb likes fruits, veggies, bread/grain as well as milk, juice and water.

Caleb likes the outside, playing with toys, coloring and using stickers.

Caleb dislikes animals.  Its not that he dislikes animals but he is afraid of animals.  Fearful.  Caleb dislikes heights (AKA his daddy shoulders and Noah’s top bunk:)

Caleb dislikes meat of any kind except eggs.

Caleb eats with his right hand while colors and draws with his left hand.  I have noticed several times him putting his left thumb up to his mouth.  I wonder if he wanted or tried to suck his thumb as an infant to soothe himself.

Caleb eats without making a mess and is adamant about keeping himself clean while eating (both hands and mouth).  He wants to help clean up the kitchen after meals.

Caleb folds laundry…..imagine my surprise as I am folding laundry this morning he comes to help and folds laundry better than my 7 and 8 year old.  I tried to tell him he need not fold laundry…..re-affirming him with hugs and kisses.  I want him to know he is loved…..that he was chosen….but for a four year old this is going to take time.

We are learning so much about Caleb and thankful we get to call him son!

Caleb is Home

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WOW!  We are home….YEAH!  My heart is full!  I know I have said on here that Caleb sleeps and eats great!  These are huge praises and we are prayerful that this will continue.  Also, the fact that he sleeps and eats well will help Jason and I to teach and help him with his behavior issues (because hopefully we will have more patience with good sleep:).  And I believe with time, learning English and routine these behavior issues can be addressed effectively.  (And most importantly prayer for him to learn self control and fruits of the Spirit.)  He is very smart and eager to learn and participate.  He is very affectionate too!!  Last night, when we arrived home.  I was giving him a tour of the house.  We had placed several photos of him around the home so we could communicate in some way that we have been waiting and wanting to bring him home.  Each time he looked at his photo he pointed to himself and said Caleb and gave me a huge hug and kiss.  I wept!!

We are thankful to be home safely and still very healthy!  And continue to be at awe with God’s hand on this journey!!

Isabel

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I wanted to post a quick note on Isabel.  First, all the 3 big kids did great:)  But Isabel was our extra hands when we needed them.  She helped us in so many situations and instances.  We are so thankful she was eager to help.  Also, Isabel took almost all our pictures.  With a 2 and 4 year old I really did not have opportunities to take many pictures.  But she took my camera and went to taking pictures.  Can not wait to upload them to my computer to look at:)  We probably have at least 1000 pictures!

Also, once we arrived in GZ Isabel (and Mattie and Noah) did great making new friends with other LifeLine families.  They quickly built relationships with both the bio and adopted children.  They look forward to continuing their friendships as pen pals.  There was one particular 14 year old girl that was adopted just 4 days prior to her 14th birthday.  (Fourteen is the age out age in China.)  Isabel and her had so much fun and her mama was so happy to see her interacting with Isabel.

So thankful we took our children to experience China culture, the adoption journey and open their eyes to the lostness of the world.  May their hearts burn with a desire to be missional for the gospel!

Coming Home

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Today, we went to the zoo.  Yesterday, we went to the island.  We have a wonderful guide that really takes care of us:)  Last night we ate at a Chinese Cafe it was great food!  This afternoon we are going for a quick swim, pick up Caleb’s passport with visa and pack.  We head out at 5 AM on Thursday.  And we will travel about 28 hours to get home.  We have had so much fun but I am so ready to get home…..I think some things will be easier to be on a schedule and routine.  Our days here are full of various sightseeing, eating, napping, paperwork, and more eating.  Our kids love it because of the fun things we get to do.  I have not cooked in 2 weeks nor washed clothes (other than a few things in the sink:)

We are still healthy and safe and knitting together as a family of seven.  We are thankful for your prayers.  And have seen God provide along the way.  We are encouraged and blessed…..yet still learning and growing.  Jason and I agree this journey of adoption is really a journey of sanctification.  Thankful for the cross and the grace and mercy I have received from God.

Caleb Sees

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I have been pondering what it might be like for Caleb.  In one week he has seen and done more things than is his lifetime.  He loves to see and listen about to everything happening in the hotel, on the street, in the van/bus……He talks no stop and has not met a stranger:)  I know at times he gets frustrated with us as we do not know what he is saying.  Sometimes he repeats himself numerous times but we still do not know.  There are a few things we have picked up in Chinese and understand what he is saying.  We are quite funny to use hand motions for various instructions, details.  He is non stop fun until he does not get his way:)

Clearly he can not see out of his right eye and he is very sensitive to light.  However, he seems to be able to see well out of his left eye.  He really does not miss a beat with comings and goings.  We are thankful he can SEE!

Tomorrow we have our consulate appointment and take our oath.  Our final step in the process!  YEAH!!!!!  (*Okay we still have other paperwork to complete in the coming weeks but these are small steps compared to all that we have done and will have completed*)  Caleb will legally be our son!!!

Update

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It has been a busy few days as we traveled from one province to another via plane.  We are now in GZ with other LifeLine Families.  It is sweet to hear their stories and testimony of how God moved them to adopt. Our children have made friends quickly and we are still healthy and safe.

Today, we attended International Church.  What an amazing time to worship and celebrate God together with other believers around the world.  Also, it was Orphan Sunday.  And there we are holding Caleb.  We are blessed, humbled and encouraged.

We also had to complete more adoption paperwork.  You think when you get here you are done with the paperwork but it just keeps coming:)  SO thankful for the LifeLine team as they really make it so easy as they help you prepare each document along the way.

Yesterday, I took Caleb to the clinic to complete his medical for his visa and our consulate appointment on Tuesday.  He did fairly well considering he had to be given a shot:(  We go back tomorrow to finish his medical.

The days are full and busy for all seven of us.  Just eating and bathing and getting dressed or just about doing anything takes a little longer:)

The big kids LOVE it here….and are not ready to come home just yet.  Ella-Lu is so ready to come home. Tuesday of last week she told me….we have Caleb now let’s go home.  So sweet!  She continues to do well….she loves being in her carrier.  Her pink blanket has made it through each step with us and yes we are hand washing it to try to limit the germs it is collecting:)

We are thankful for 3 American Restaurants but all the while are tired of eating McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC.  We have eaten almost all the food we brought but plan to have PB sandwiches tonight.

You may be thinking how is Caleb?  He is doing well.  He eats and sleeps great:)  He is very smart and is already learning a few English words.  He is eager to learn and to experience so much.  But he is 4 year old boy who has the maturity of a 2 year old.  He does not want to listen (yes, there is a language barrier but he already knows what no means:).  He wants to be independent when he needs help.  He is full of energy and lots of laughs and smiles and snuggles.  He is starting to show affection without prompt. For example, he started with kissing in the air in our direction and now he comes up and gives me a kiss on the cheek.

This period is hard…..we knew it was going to be hard…..we are experiencing what we expected……no surprises but it is still hard.  Adoption is hard.  Adoption is messy.  We are in battle for our son.  To teach him, train him, love him, discipline him, grow him.  I think this is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us too!

We can feel your prayers.  At times I do not know what to pray. But I know others are praying and pleading on our behalf.  We appreciate your continued prayers for all of us as we press on this week, to arrive home on Thursday evening and perseverance with grace and mercy in the following weeks and months.

For His Glory!