Thursday, April 3, 2014


A post two days in a row?!

It's a miracle.  :)

Perhaps my posts wouldn't be 862 paragraphs long if I posted more frequently.


I need to do better because I feel like these little lives are passing by so fast and I'm not documenting these precious moments as I want to.

Not to mention the glory there is to share.  James continues to absolutely amaze us!  You should see this child work the Wii remote with his lower lip.  Y'all.  I can't even do it sometimes with my whole hand with five fingers!  He's a maniac.

Let me just list off some things for your reading pleasure about James:

1.  The boy is p-o-t-t-y t-r-a-i-n-e-d.  Yes-oh-yes he is.  It was a long time coming.  And it got a little ugly there at the end, to be honest.  We've never had to negatively reinforce potty training before.  Ick.  But we made it!

2.  This winter was a little rough for him (and us).  Poor little dude coughed himself silly for months.  Including throwing up in his bed many a night from coughing so much.  That's my favorite thing ever when parenting -- pukey bedsheets in the middle of the night.  Yee-haw, baby.

It appears he's an asthmatic.  Poor baby.  Lots of breathing treatments and now a daily inhaler that seems to be doing the trick, hence, why it's believed he probably has asthma.  We'll know more when I take him back to the doctor in a week or so.

3.  We celebrated two years with this little dude!  Crazy!  We look back at photos and he was a baby.  He has grown and changed so much.  It's just amazing.   It's like I thought he wasn't going to grow or something.  

In this photo, he's holding a framed picture of us in China that Aunt Karen sent as a two-year Gotcha Day gift.  Super sweet.  Thank you, K.  :)

4.  A classmate from school invited him to his first birthday party.  It was a princesses and super heroes party.  Little man got to go in his Halloween costume.

Superman was adopted too.  :)

He's quite the ladies' man.  All his friends from school are girls.  

Wearing Avery's rain boots.  And smirking, of course.

5.  One of the most amazing things to report that relates to James is the enormous blessing his preschool has become to us.  All four of our older kids went to a different preschool very close to where we used to live.  It was a great school.  For seven years we had at least one child there.  In fact, there was one sweet teacher there that every one of them had.  The whole experience was just sweet to us.  We were excited to send James there too, but then we moved five miles away and there was a preschool just down the road from our new house that many neighbors used.  I had to look into it.  Right away, I had the feeling we should give it a try.  One big reason was that the building was so much more accessible for James -- no stairs!  The old preschool required him to go up and down stairs every time they entered or left the building.  That made me nervous.  Someone would always need to be near him.  But at the new school, he could march right into the building all by himself and I loved that.  

But more than that, when James and I toured it this time last year, the women there just seemed so open and willing to have him.  It was like they really didn't care that he has only a partial arm and partial hand and he may need extra help here and there.

Pretty much from the start James has loved it!  One morning I bawled hysterically as I pulled away because he marched his little self right into that building without looking back and instantly I saw how far he'd come from being abandoned as a newborn in China to the very capable and lovable boy that he is.  It seems these kinds of moments just come out of nowhere.  It was cathartic.

That child is a fighter, a winner, a doer, an overcomer, a dream come true.

Last month, they sent home the contracts to reserve your child's spot for the 2014-2015 year, with the requirement of a $400 deposit.  Yikes!

Our thoughts went to our being in the middle of an adoption and being unsure what next school year will hold.  Christine will very likely be home with us and she will need to go to school.  Yes, it's a personal choice, but, at this time, we wish to homeschool her and have her take classes at Westminster Academy (where Payton and Avery are and very likely where all our kids will end up).  We love this hybrid-style of education for our family.  Having them home three days a week and at school two days a week is perfect.  And it seems the kinder option for Christine as she transitions into her new life with us.  But that left us unsure of whether we could afford to pay for all we can with this adoption in addition to paying for three kids to take classes at Westminster in the fall, so I kindly responded to James' school saying that we were not going to be able to commit to James returning next year due to our adoption and the unknowns of next year.  I explained that we love St. Mary's and hope to have him there next year, but we just can't commit right now.

To my surprise, the director came back with an email that brought tears to my eyes.  She immediately said how much they love James and want him at St. Mary's.  She said he is a blessing to the teachers and students.  She asked if we would consider a scholarship.

Come again.

I thanked her for her kindness and told her we were humbled by such a generous offer, but we didn't want to prevent someone from a scholarship they really need.  She said the board was meeting the following day and if it were okay with us, she wanted to tell the board about our family and our adoptions and request a scholarship on our behalf.


Fast forward two weeks and we were awarded almost a full scholarship for James to attend preschool next year.

These are the kinds of things that God does to show us that He's with us.  

People often express to us a fear of adopting because they don't know how they'll afford it or afford another child.

We so get it.

We so get it.

We have those thoughts too.  Oh yes we do.

But then they quickly fade as we remember His faithfulness to us over and over again.

So we choose to trust Him.

Again and again and again.

And guess what?

He is faithful.  

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