Monday, April 25, 2011

My funny boy!

I know...this picture is from the fall but the expression is 'typical MJ.' He's been cracking us up lately and I thought I'd give you a little peek into the window that is life with this sweet 4 year old.

This mama is sad but I must admit that he will turn 5 in less than 3 weeks. I asked him on the way home from preschool what he'd like for his birthday treat when the time came. I even gave him some options...chocolate donoughts? cupcakes?? cookies??? What does he reply?

"Well, not tree sap. Tree sap is for the Giant Rhinosarus Beetle. They eat that. I don't have any Giant Rhinosarus Beetles in our class."

What???? I laughed, which I find myself doing a lot with this little boy and dropped the subject for another day.

A couple days later I asked him the same question again. What does he reply?

"Well, not milk weed."

"Hahahahah! Why NOT milk weed?"

"Milkweed is for the (sorry for the spelling...just going by his pronunciation) Maxilla."

"What is THAT?"

"It's a yellow and black caterpillar. The kids in my class would not like milk weed."

No I guess they would NOT.

Where does he come up with this stuff? He tells me about he Giant Pacific Octopus that has "arm regeneration" and if a "predator fish bites one of his arms off, it will regenerate in eleventeen weeks."

Mostly, he gets it completely correct and now he's telling us he wants to be an animal doctor. I was hoping one of my kids would be a dentist but an animal doctor would be just fine, too.

I asked him a third time what he thinks he'd like for his birthday treat for preschool. What did he reply?

"Cookies with M&M's!!"


Before Easter, he told me that George Washington died on the cross. "They pounded nails in his hands and he died."

I asked him, "Wasn't that Jesus who died on the cross?"

"He did it first then George Washington did it next. The sins got him!"

Oh, my funny boy!


Saturday, April 23, 2011


I met with one of our pastors last week to get some advice and prayer about all the hurdles and mountains that keep popping up in our family. We only had a very short time but he did help me. He told me to pray that God would reveal any blatant sin in our home, like pornography or adultry. (This is the hard part of going to a new church...they don't know you.) I don't see anything like that in our family but I will pray that God would show me if there is anything. If there is nothing like that then it is a spiritual battle, which we knew.

He said we do not need to have a martyr attitude, that these things will keep happening to us. He advised us to pray that it all will stop. We will go to the elders of the church for prayer for our family, which is what the Bible says to do. So I feel encouraged again:)

We are getting ready for Easter. We're actually attending Easter service at church tonight (Saturday) to make room for visitors who will inevitably come on Easter Sunday. Never done that, but hey...why not?? Easter dinner will be at our house tomorrow with one extra friend at our table. My friend, Emily will be with us as her family will be out of town. Emily is one of my heroes. She has been on more mission trips than anyone I know and to so many countries. She just spent the last several months in Uganda working with the curriculum for the school system there. This girl is very close to her masters degree in International Development and who knows where God will take her from there. Love this girl and so glad she will be with us for Easter. Then on to Joani's for Easter supper after that!

God has been so good to our family. We are thankful for His provision, protection, encouragement and for the ability to get out of bed each morning and serve Him and serve others. Nothing gives us greater joy. After feeling beaten down, God lovingly gave us a huge blessing yesterday...wish I could share but I cannot...but trust me when I say that we all were giddy with excitement over what God is doing! Just when we needed it most:) What a loving God we have.

The thought that Jesus died to pay for my sins and cover me and make me clean simply takes my breath away. Have a blessed Easter!


Sunday, April 17, 2011


People who know what's been happening in our family have asked me why I haven't updated my I am.

First of all, Katie is recovering very well. So well, in fact that she is now allowed to go in the hot tub and had her weight restriction raised to 20 pounds. She feels much better than before the surgery. Thanks for your prayers, cards, love and support.

Last Monday, Blaine told me that he'd been having some of the neurological symptoms that he had when he became paralyzed two summers ago. He feels an electrical shock down the back of his legs. It seems he's had this a few times since his paralysis (I didn't know this) but it resolves itself. He became alarmed when he had a problem with his vision on Monday where he was seeing zig-zags in part of his field of vision. This pretty much freaked him out. I talked him into calling the neurologist who'd seen him for the paralysis and we were waiting for a call from him the on Tuesday.

My mom was over, helping me rake and get the yard ready for the wedding and we were talking about what God could be doing with this, the latest happenings with Blaine's health. I mean, we just got over Katie's mongo surgery just 4 weeks ago and now this? Oh, my.

I began talking with God myself as I was raking. I reminded Him that when Blaine was last int he hospital that I knew that I was not able to pursue the adoption (for Aliya) if he was not able bodied. We can hardly keep up with the kids we have now and I really, really need him. I was asking God to relieve some of the extreme stress Blaine has been under for the past couple weeks and that he really needed a break.

Just as I was praying this, De ran outside and yelled at me to come in the house. There was water all over the laundry room floor!

He pulled out the washer from the wall...nothing. He pulled out the dryer and there was a hole in the sheetrock and water was spraying out all over! I remembered that MJ had turned on the spigot (hooked up to a hose with a sprayer on it) outside a couple hours earlier so in my limited knowledge of all things plumbing, I ran outside and turned the spigot off and De told me it stopped. We got the floor cleaned up and wiped down the dryer.

It then dawned on me to check downstairs in case some water dripped through the ceiling. As I walked down the stairs, I could hear it. It was POURING out of the ceiling, out of every light fixture, all over the pool table and wood floor! I could not believe what I was seeing. All I could think was, "God...WHY????"

We got the water turned off and the electricity shut off and began the clean up. It took every towel we have but we had it cleaned up before Blaine got home. I knew that we could not claim this on our insurance after the fire. We'd have to pay for it but worse than that...Blaine would have more work and stress on his already overburdened self. Stress is what caused the paralysis in the first place!

I did not cry during Blaine's recovery after the accident.
I did not cry after the fire.
I did not cry when he became paralyzed.
I did not cry (much) when Katie went through her surgery.
I DID cry after this. I lost it. Couldn't keep it together.

When Blaine came home, I think he was so shocked to see me in such a state that he hugged me and said, "It will be ok. It's just some sheetrock and a wood floor." So calm.

So we are once again at a place where we are trusting God to take care of us in the amazing way He has so many times in the past. After the flood, the neurologist's nurse finally called back and said the dr. wants Blaine to have an MRI and then see him. The "good" thing is that he felt the zig-zag vision problem was a migraine. Is that good? :) Now I know I'm crazy when I say that a migraine is good. Oh, boy!

So the basement is torn up...part of the ceiling has not sheetrock or insulation and half of the wood floor is torn up. Blaine did find out that they do make the same wood flooring so we won't have to pay for a whole new one, so that's good.

We honestly are starting to feel like Job here, you know from the Bible? I am going to try to get an appointment to talk with our pastor and tell him our story because there is a strong spiritual aspect here and I want some direction.

I feel like we have a "Kick me Satan!" on our backs. It's crazy.

We know that God is greater, stronger, higher, wiser, all knowing, all powerful, and all present. He's obviously allowing this all to happen but I'd sure like to know why.

So if once again I could ask for you to pray for us, we'd really appreciate it. Pray that Blaine will not have to go back on Prednisone and that the MRI will show nothing. Pray for protection for the rest of the family, strength and encouragement.

Pray for Katie, who now is close to wanting to cancel the wedding and go before a judge in her pretty dress and marry De to take some of the stress off her dad. Her surgery really took the wind out of her sails. I want her to enjoy this time, not look back on it with bad memories.

We thank you in advance for your prayers again!


I have pics of the basement. I'll post soon.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A regular day

I wake up this morning thankful.

Thankful for the beautiful sunshine.

Thankful that the little guys can sit and watch cartoons this morning.

Thankful that I can make a nice breakfast for my family.

Thankful for our home.

Thankful that the fire that found us displaced 2 years ago today is in the past.

Thankful that it is a regular, glorious day!!!!!

Hope you are thankful for your wonderful, regular day:)


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why did we adopt? Part 5

This post is the very first post on my blog. It was dated April 1, 2009, two years ago yesterday. We started this blog to chronicle our second adoption. Little did we know that our lives would change just over 24 hours later when we lost our home and everything in it.

Adoption miracle Today we move from to blogspot. I wanted to catch you all up to date on what has happened in our family. Sorry if this is long. I've condensed it as much as I could. Hope it's not confusing! Many of you know that I have been greatly troubled for a long time about some things. The fact that there are orphans in the world is bad enough for me but the fact that they are suffering illness and starvation, lack of education and knowledge of Jesus Christ is unbearable. Even though I wanted to share this with Blaine, I kept this pretty much to myself because with the state of the economy, business has not been good. I didn't want to stress him out any more. I didn't want him to think I had an agenda. I didn't. I really thought God could use me to speak to groups or do some writing so that others might be inspired to open their hearts and homes to the blessings of adding a precious child to their family by means of adoption. So adoption, while near and dear to my heart wasn't what I was thinking about for us. Finally, one night I told him. I read to him what I'd written on the old caringbridge site about orphans, the poor and the widow being Jesus in disguise to us. We decided to each begin to pray that God would show us exactly what our next 'assignment' would be on behalf of these people whom Jesus told us love and care for. So we did. Maybe a year ago or so, I signed up with to receive emails with waiting kids in Africa. I did this just for fun so I could see the kids who were available. I never received a single email until last week. There was an email from them on Tues. and one also on Wed. Weird! So Thursday morning I told Blaine about it (since we were both on the look-out for what God has planned). I quickly showed him the email, we looked at pictures and he went to work. Apparently, he went to work and looked them up again and did what they tell you not to do under any circumstances if you don't have a completed, approved home study...he fell in love. Like we did the last time God spoke so clearly about adoption, we began praying. He prayed with me that night that God would show us clearly if we were to pursue adoption and that this girl would get the right family for her, whether it was us or someone else. The very next day, “We have the first round of God’s answer.” He proceeds to tell me this story: A man came into his office, asking to see some office space for rent. He had looked at it 2 months prior, but Blaine hadn’t seen him since. For Father's Day last year, I had made up for Blaine big 20x30" canvas pictures of each of the 4 kids for his office. The way it is arranged takes up his whole wall and if I may say so myself, is stunning. The man looks at Blaine’s ‘wall of children’ and says, “Cool, where did you have this done?” Blaine told him. He really liked the pics but clearly was wondering about the 2 black kids in the pics but he didn't ask. They came back to his office after relooking at the space to work up some numbers. The man (Daniel) was sitting in a chair with his back to the pics but kept turning around and was obviously wondering about the boys. Blaine finally said, “Those are all my kids and the 2 little boys we adopted from Ethiopia.” Daniel’s face turned to shock, he stood up, tears came to his eyes, he grabbed Blaine’s hand to shake it and said, “God is good, God bless you, Thank you, Jesus.,” over and over again. He said, “You have no idea what you’ve done for these boys. Your family will be blessed…your children, your children’s children and for the next 100, 200, 300 years your family will be blessed because of what you’ve done.” Blaine replied, “Yes, our family is blessed and God is good.” Daniel, grabbing Blaine’s arm, “I KNEW it!!! You are a believer and brother in Chirst!” They told each other where they went to church. Blaine asked him where he was from. He replied, “Nigeria.” Daniel proceeds to tell Blaine that he was so blessed to come to America and therefore has an obligation to take care of as many people back in Nigeria as he can. He has sent over a half a million dollars so far and supports over 2000 people there. He has 40 sibs, his dad is muslim with 4 wives and he supports them all. God just continues to provide for him and he keeps sending as much as he can. He tells Blaine that some rebels cut half of his mom’s ear off, two of her fingers and almost took her hand off. He was able to bring her here for surgery, which he payed for to have her hand repaired from it’s mangled state. Blaine told him that we were actually praying about bringing another daughter from Ethiopia to join our family. He broke into praising God all over again!! The then proceeds to tell Blaine, “I want to be in this building and I am ready to sign the lease.” Blaine, “Ok, I’ll get it printed up for you. Do you want to come back Mon or Tues to sign it? Daniel, “No I want to sing it now.” Blaine, “It’s rather lengthy and you’ll want to read it.” Daniel, “I’ll wait, Go ahead and print it up.” He waits, Blaine gives him the over 20 page lease and he asks where he should sign. Blaine shows him. He flips through it, signs the lease and hands him cash for a deposit. Wow! Unbeknownst to me, Blaine had been praying for 3 weeks that if God wanted us to adopt, that He’d show Blaine that financially we would be able to handle it. The economy being what it is, they haven’t signed a single lease in 6 months. One hour after Daniel left, the real estate leasing agent called and said, “Good news! We have a restaurant for Farmington. They want to sign a lease Mon or Tues and are very excited. Also, a consignment shop wants to sign a lease on Mon or Tues, as well." We have waited for 3 long years for a restaurant for our mall in Farmington. It will bring in other tenants as well because they are an anchor. Nothing for 6 months and then 3 leases in ONE DAY !!! Blaine called me right after all this happens and says, “God is working fast.” Woah, understatement! We get our income from leases. This is the assurance God gave him to proceed. Now we are praying that God would show us clearly which agency to go with. This matters so much because we know that God has a child picked out for our family and this has been predestined from the very beginning of time. So it’s just not random. We hope to have this decided with God's direction by early next week so we can proceed with a home study. While God was busy moving in my heart over the last months, I would often tell Him out loud, "God, please tell Blaine not me this time." I told Him this over and over. While my heart was hurting for these kids and I felt like I couldn't take the burden anymore and I would say this out of exasperation to Him. And what did He do for me?? He told Blaine this time. Blaine is fired up. Let me tell you, when hear from the Lord it gets you fired up!! I can't really say why God works so dramatically with us when it comes to adoption. This doesn't happen with other things...just adoption. Keep in mind that all this has transpired over the period of 4 days! From not knowing what direction God had for us to go to getting that it was adoption and then getting such powerful confirmation.This is why I am confused when people say, "I don't want to be a Christian...way too boring!" Are you kidding???? Anything but. That's it in a nutshell. Please pray for us that we'd continue to see God's direction toward which adoption agency He has for us.

**Two short years ago, this evening our house burned down. I had our home study application on my desk, ready to fill out that coming Saturday. That fire (which you can read all about if you go all the way back to the beginning of this blog) slowed us down in our adoption of Aliya but it DID NOT stop us. We started working on her adoption just a couple of months after the fire. God really showed Blaine and I that we should go forward with it and now we know why there wasn't time to waste. Just a few months after Aliya came home, it was determined that all of the girls her age were tool old to be adopted and they were sent to a boarding school. She would have been among them. We got her just in time:)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why did we adopt? Part 4

Finally! After 3 long months of waiting (wasted time, I'm thinking) the week of our pre-adoptive classes arrives. Our class takes place on a Thursday, all day and Friday, all day.

The Sunday of the week of our class, Blake began to get sick. By Monday, I was very concerned. He was having bizzare symptoms that led me to think he had meningitis. We didn't mess around and took him down to the ER at our children's hospital. They ran test after test. We were there all night. Blake basically lay there, too sick to care what they did to him. Eventually, after a chest w-ray was taken, the doctor shocked with the news that they thought he had cancer...lymphoma. His white blood count and his red blood count were way, way out of whack. We were to go home and see his pediatrician that day.

Wham! Like a boot right in the stomach.

We did go to our pediatrician and she talked with him about the possibility of this being cancer. He was only 16 and he was sure he would die and began immediately thinking about who he could give his worldly possessions to. Makes me teary just thinking about it.

She told us to come back each day that week to repeat the blood work to see what happened.

We were stunned, broken, and confused.

It took me about a day of this to think..."Hey, God clearly told us we were to adopt. We can't do it if Blake has cancer. He'd be undergoing treatment and it just wouldn't happen. Hmm...this is NOT cancer. This is a spiritual battle to stop our adoption and it's not going to happen."

We prayed over Blake. I prayed Ephesians 6 over him and for him. Each time I read it, I was more and more certain that Blake would be fine. We went every day for a repeat of his blood work and it changed very little but did increase slightly on Wednesday.

We had an appointment for him on Thursday morning at 8:45am and our class began at 9:30am and we were 30 minutes from the agency. I got permission to be slightly late to our class by the agency (they are VERY strict about being timely). We took him that morning and had his blood drawn. We sat, waited and prayed. I was so confident that he was ok that I had my niece waiting in the parking lot to drive him home so we could go straight to the class!

The doctor came in very surprised. She said his numbers had risen to almost normal and that it must have been a rare virus that attacked both lines of his blood, where usually it either on or the other, not both. Well, that's all we needed to hear! We got Blake into his cousins car and off Blaine and I went to our class, in complete awe of the goodness and faithfulness of our God.

We walked through the process and only had to wait 6 short weeks before we were matched with 2 adorable little brothers, Mihiretu and Misganaw. What a shock it was to us to know that we were going to be parents to a baby again, as at the time of our referral, Misganaw was only 5 months old! We were absolutely over the moon!

We felt like we were the most blessed people on planet earth. God had clearly spoken to us, showing us what He wanted us to do. He led us through the entire process and had placed the boys in our family that He had planned for us. If we hadn't made it to that particular class on that particular month, we would not have been matched with our boys. They would have gone to someone before us.

But God...

He knew. He showed us clearly to proceed. Adoption is a faith journey like none other we have ever been on. When hard times or bumps in the road (or mountains in the road in some cases) come, DO NOT GIVE UP! This is the time to do battle. By adopting, we are literally taking enemy territory. Think about it. The enemy hates adoption because it is by that very thing...adoption, that God has brought each Christian into His family and made us His children and heirs.

Praise His name!

Our adoption battles have been particularly fierce. After adopting the boys, we decided God had one more child for us to adopt. We proceeded with much joy and enthusiasm but it was very short lived because the very next day, we lost our home and everything in it.

It was battle time again.